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Monday 26 September 2016

Shane Lowry wants to remain focused after strong start at Masters

Published 08/04/2016 | 09:56

Shane Lowry was two shots off the lead after day one of the Masters (AP)
Shane Lowry was two shots off the lead after day one of the Masters (AP)
Shane Lowry was two shots off the lead after day one of the Masters

Shane Lowry admitted he might need to slap himself in the face to avoid thinking too much about winning the Masters after a superb opening day at Augusta National.

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Lowry raced to the turn in 31 before eventually signing for a four-under-par 68 to share second place with New Zealand's Danny Lee, just two shots behind defending champion Jordan Spieth.

"I'm sure I'm going to be sitting back tonight thinking at some stage about wearing a green jacket. I'm only human. I'm going to do that," Lowry said.

" But I've just got to kind of give myself a slap in the face and get myself back into reality and try to get down to business and keep hitting good shots and see where that leaves me at the end of the week.

"W inning a major obviously is a big deal, it's something that you want to do as a golfer a nd it's nice seeing my name up there. But it's a long way to go yet, especially around this place. You're only ever a bad bounce away from a bit of a disaster, so you've just got to keep your head on. You've just got to keep trying to hit good shots and hit towards your targets and hopefully make a few putts, and that's all I'm going to try and do."

Lowry missed the cut on his Masters debut last year, but revealed he had benefited from an extended preparation period on the course this time around.

"I've been here since last Saturday," the 29-year-old. "I've played a lot of golf here this week and I do feel really comfortable around the place.

" It's a bit intimidating driving in the gates of Magnolia Lane to play the Masters. It was last year. Hopefully I'll be coming here for many years and hopefully I've got that out of the way now. It's the greatest place in the world, best golf course, best place."

Lowry won the Irish Open while still an amateur in 2009 and the Portugal Masters in 2012, but claimed the biggest victory of his career in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last year.

"Winning a tournament like that, especially beating the players I did down the stretch, does a lot for me," he added. "Obviously it gives me confidence going forward but that's behind me and I'll hopefully use that Sunday afternoon when I'm hopefully going on the back nine against some of the bigger players with a chance of winning."

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