Thursday 25 May 2017

Lowry takes route 66 to get back on track at Hilton Head

RBC Heritage, Live, Sky Sports 4, 8.00pm ; Trophee Hassan II Live, Sky Sports 4, 11.30am/3.30pm

Shane Lowry. Photo: AP
Shane Lowry. Photo: AP

Shane Lowry was quick to shake off the disappointment of last weekend's Masters missed cut with stunning 66 at the first round of the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head.

The Offaly express, who has slipped to 66th in the world rankings, was quickly in the red figures with a birdie on the first followed by three more between the third and seventh holes. After bogeys on the ninth and 14th, Lowry finished with birdies on 15, 16 and 18 for a five-under-par opening round to sit one off the early pace of Luke Donald.

The former world No 1 has recorded six top-threes in his last 11 starts at Harbour Town Golf Links, including finishing runner-up in 2016, 2014, 2011 and 2009. The 39-year-old took a one-shot lead into the final round 12 months ago, but could only card a closing 71 as South Africa's Branden Grace fired a 67 to claim his first PGA Tour title.

Donald, who missed last week's Masters, will be hoping to complete the deal this weekend and a he got off to a brilliant start with an eagle on the par-five second on his way to a 65. Donald's playing partner Graeme McDowell carded a one-over 72.

At the Trophee Hassan in Morocco, Paul Dunne finished the first round on level-par 73, three shots behind the leading quartet of Gregory Havret, James Morrison, Lucas Bjerregaard and Gary Stal. Michael Hoey shot a three-over 76.

Irish Independent

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