By Aaron Murphy
Shane Lowry. Photo by Golffile
Shane Lowry finished his third round at Augusta National with a level par 72 and currently sits on level par for the tournament and tied 21st. He picked up birdies on 2 and 6 but dropped a shot on the par-4 3rd to make the turn on one under par.
Bogeys on 11 and 16 followed with just the one birdie on the par 5 13th which saw the Offaly man home on level par.
Lowry’s putter was not as hot as he hoped for, “I came back out, and I left every putt short. A chance on 15, obviously three-putted 16, a chance on 17 and 18 and left them all short, and they were pretty good putts, but just pace wasn't great. So yeah, disappointing. It did affect it, and it's going to make the course a lot easier for the guys playing the back nine now. When we turned going down 10, 11, 12, it was quite difficult just before the storm came in, so I think -- that's what disappoints me, as well, because obviously, I think the leaders will make some birdies around 13 and 15 and make it a little bit easier. ” said Lowry.
It seemed like he would take one step forward and then take one step back. “Yeah, the whole week for me has been like that. I feel like I've been very close, been in contention, but I'm not. Yeah, I'm disappointed with -- I feel like level par for these last three days is probably the worst score you could be on, but then I've got to take the positives from that, as well. If I can go out and shoot a decent number tomorrow, I could have a very decent week for myself, and yeah, just move on.”
Despite being on even par the Open Champions has had his fair share of birdies, 12 over the first 54 holes. “Look, the way the golf course played this week is just very hard. It's easy to make a disaster very quickly. You know, certain pins are quite difficult, so yeah, I don't know. I would have taken -- it's only four birdies a day. It's not unbelievable. Like you could have more, probably could have more or should have more.”
When asked about what pleased him most about his game this week and the least? “I feel like -- like every golfer I'll answer the bad one first. I feel like I've made an awful lot of stupid errors, hit wrong clubs -- not wrong clubs, just wrong decisions, just bad decisions a few times this week that have really cost me. My start yesterday, like I played lovely the first day, shot 1-under, very happy with that, and then I go out and I start double bogey-bogey yesterday, and that's just stupid. It really is.” said Lowry.
Shane Lowry. Photo by Golffile
“Standing there in the middle of the 1st fairway with wedge in my hand and the whole of Augusta to the right and I miss it left, which is the only place you can't miss it, which it's kind of inexcusable. Then I bogey the 2nd, and same, middle of the fairway with a wedge on No. 7 yesterday, as well.
“Just got my round back on track, made a couple of nice pars on 4 and 5 and then played 6 well and then hit a great shot down on 7, and you're only trying to hit it into that bowl left of that flag, and left it short and made bogey again, and that kind of frustrates me.
“It's hard to be out there playing around Amen Corner, playing all those difficult holes, the wind swirling when you're on the cut mark or feel like you're close to the cut mark. I felt like, if I got off to a better start yesterday, I might have been able to kick on a little bit better and make some more birdies coming in, but when you're coming in and you're kind of just worried about -- not worried about the cut, but you don't really want to do nothing stupid, you're kind of playing a little bit safer than you might. Yeah, I've made a lot of bad errors, but my game -- a lot as in four or five.
“But my game has been very good. I've driven the ball okay, and I'm pleased with how I'm putting the ball at the minute. I'm seeing my lines, and I'm pretty happy with that. I'm pretty happy where my game is at, like I really am.
“So I told someone last week, I did an interview last week, and I said, I'm very happy where my game is at, and I feel like if I just stay patient over the next few months, that something special might have. “
While Hideki Matsuyama will be too hard to catch, a best ever top 5 finish is still on the cards for the Clara man “Well, the thing is it's so difficult out there that you still need to be quite conservative out there. You still need to be middle of the greens, pars, make your chances when you get them, and hopefully shoot a good score at the end of the day. I'm not going to go out and go after every flag. If I go out and somehow turn in 4-under tomorrow, we all know what can happen on the back nine at Augusta.’ added Lowry.
“We just have to see what the leaders do this evening, and I don't know if they're going to finish or whatever, but we just have to see what happens, what the number is going to be.
“My guess is the winning number -- I don't know the forecast -- is going to be like 8, 9, 10-under, so do I see myself shooting 62 around here tomorrow? Not really, but we'll see how it goes.”
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