By Brian Keogh
Shane Lowry. Photo by Golffile
Shane Lowry’s hopes of contending for the Turkish Airlines Open evaporated when he carded a three-over 75 to slip back into the pack at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal.
The Open champion was just five strokes off the lead at halfway thanks to an excellent 65 on Friday. But he was far from his best on moving day in Belek, mixing two birdies in five bogeys to slip back to tied 52nd on four-under par.
The normally low-key Offaly man was in no mood to hang around afterwards for a detailed post-mortem but it was clear he was not swinging with the same fluidity as he was on Friday.
While he birdied the fourth, he could not get up and down from behind the fifth green, then three-putted the seventh to turn in one-over par.
He further complicated matters when he missed the fairway with an iron and bogeyed the 10th, overshooting the green before semi-flubbing a chip from sticky greenside rough.
He did well to make his birdie four at the long 11th, chipping to six feet from a collar of rough surrounding a greenside bunker.
But while he made a good par save from 15 feet at the 12th, where he missed the fairway left and came up short of the green in two, his patience ran out when bogeyed the par-five 13th after a tugged approach into the bushes forced him to take a penalty drop.
Another bogey swiftly followed at the short 14th on a day when scoring was again red-hot.
But it was also a difficult day for Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger, whose 72 left him tied 54th on three-under.
Wiesberger is projected to remain top of the Race to Dubai but overnight leader Matthias Schwab could move up to fourth behind Lowry after he followed rounds of 65 and 67 with a six-under 66 to lead by three strokes on 18-under par.
Benjamin Herbert (64), Tyrrell Hatton (65), Patrick Reed (65), Robert MacIntyre (67) and Ross Fisher (68) share second place on 15-under while Scotland’s Scott Jamieson, Frenchman Victor Perez and South African Erik van Rooyen round out the top nine on 13-under par.
Eddie Pepperell provided a note of colour when he was disqualified after a Tin Cup moment at the fourth hole - his 13th.
Already frustrated after back to back bogeys at the second and third, the Englishman pumped as least four approach shots into the lake in front of the green and with no balls left, he was automatically disqualified.
Pádraig Harrington followed his second round 66 with a two-over 74 to slip to tied 62nd on one-under.
“I just missed a few putts early on, and you are struggling if you are not making birdies out there and it was that kind of day, I let it get in on me,” Harrington said.
Padraig Harrington. Photo by Golffile
“Missing those putts on the front nine really took the wind out of my sails and the double on 12 was a result of the wind being out of my sails. These things happen, you got to hole a few putts out there if you want to shoot a score and I missed a few today.
Maybe I had expectations today after yesterdays round, sometimes that can make it difficult so that’s possibly part of it as I was a bit frustrated not to be going so well today and was getting down on myself.”
Schwab (24) has nine top ten finishes to his name in 2019, including a runner-up result at the Porsche European Open, as he goes in search of a maiden European Tour victory and a first Rolex Series title.
Matthias Schwab: “I got off to a really nice start on the first hole with the eagle that I made and then played solid golf all around except for that one little hiccup I had on 13, but other than that, I was hitting them well. Made a few putts. Overall it was a good day.
“I started putting with the flag in last week at the HSBC in China. My caddie came up with the idea. They weren't really going in before, and especially in Paris, so we tried something different, and it seems to work.
“The game plan is going to be the same as it's been the last three days. The course is gettable and there are a lot of birdies out there, so I'll just stay aggressive because pars won't be enough.”
Patrick Reed: “Any time you shoot 65, you're happy. There's a lot I left out there today, just alone on two of the par 5s and 5-footer for birdie, that was straightforward and ended up walking off with 6. Missed a really short one for birdie on 4, just those alone, that's three shots.
“I left a couple out there but at the same time I made some putts I needed to make. I had a crucial save I felt like on 12. I was able to make the putt on the last, just kind of keep the momentum going. You know, how the conditions are, it's warm and benign winds; you're able to attack this place, so you've got to stay aggressive and make a lot of birdies.”
Tyrrell Hatton: “Normally I'm quite a negative person but in the last sort of month, I've actually felt quite confident. I changed shafts in my irons which has been a big help. Gone to a completely new grip and it's been really good. It's the best I've played all year, and just the putter hasn't really been my friend, which in years gone by, it's been a strength; it’s definitely been the weakness this year for me.
“So obviously if I can keep giving myself chances, you're going to make a few occasionally and hopefully I can do that again.”
198 M Schwab (Aut) 65 67 66,
201 B Hebert (Fra) 67 70 64, T Hatton (Eng) 68 68 65, P Reed (USA) 71 65 65, R Macintyre (Sco) 71 63 67, R Fisher (Eng) 69 64 68,
203 E Van Rooyen (RSA) 70 67 66, S Jamieson (Sco) 67 68 68, V Perez (Fra) 68 69 66,
204 J Hansen (Den) 68 68 68, F Zanotti (Par) 69 67 68, J Harding (RSA) 69 65 70, L Westwood (Eng) 71 65 68, K Kitayama (USA) 69 68 67,
205 R Ramsay (Sco) 68 73 64, P Waring (Eng) 70 67 68,
206 R Langasque (Fra) 70 66 70, S Sharma (Ind) 71 64 71, A Pavan (Ita) 68 69 69, M Kinhult (Swe) 70 68 68, T Detry (Bel) 67 66 73, N Colsaerts (Bel) 71 68 67, T Lewis (Eng) 65 70 71, Z Lombard (RSA) 73 67 66,
207 R Fox (Nzl) 73 65 69, J Luiten (Ned) 67 69 71, D Lipsky (USA) 66 68 73, A Noren (Swe) 66 67 74, J Scrivener (Aus) 68 66 73, J Campillo (Esp) 68 68 71, T Pieters (Bel) 66 70 71, J Rose (Eng) 67 67 73, D Willett (Eng) 67 66 74, F Molinari (Ita) 71 70 66, G Migliozzi (Ita) 72 67 68,
208 M Southgate (Eng) 68 71 69, M Kawamura (Jpn) 75 67 66, K Samooja (Fin) 71 68 69,
209 W Ormsby (Aus) 72 68 69, N Elvira (Esp) 71 67 71, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 72 67 70, N Bertasio (Ita) 70 69 70, G Green (Mas) 73 69 67, S Hend (Aus) 69 68 72,
210 M Wallace (Eng) 74 67 69, A Rai (Eng) 68 67 75, R Paratore (Ita) 73 68 69, E Molinari (Ita) 68 68 74, S Crocker (USA) 71 67 72,
211 M Kaymer (Ger) 70 72 69, S Soderberg (Swe) 72 70 69,
212 Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 65 75, A Arnaus (Esp) 75 67 70,
213 J Smith (Eng) 71 71 71, C Paisley (Eng) 73 72 68, B Wiesberger (Aut) 71 72 70, A Otaegui (Esp) 69 72 72,
214 H Li (Chn) 73 71 70, C Pan (Tpe) 73 70 71, R Sterne (RSA) 70 72 72, J Lagergren (Swe) 73 68 73,
215 Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 75 66 74, H Tanihara (Jpn) 70 73 72,
216 C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 71 75 70, J Walters (RSA) 75 73 68,
217 S Horsfield (Eng) 74 73 70, P Larrazábal (Esp) 72 70 75, O Wilson (Eng) 71 74 72,
218 A Quiros (Esp) 76 71 71,
219 G Coetzee (RSA) 71 71 77,
220 S Brown (Eng) 74 75 71, D Drysdale (Sco) 72 72 76,
222 L Bjerregaard (Den) 71 75 76,
223 T Yamac (am) (Tur) 72 72 79,
** E Pepperell (Eng) 70 72 DQ