Birdie blitz puts Lowry back in hunt in Turkey
Shane Lowry fired a seven-under 65 to keep his Race to Dubai challenge on the boil in the Turkish Airlines Open.
The Open champion birdied all five par-fives in an eight-birdie round and moved up 27 places to tied 25th, just five strokes behind Austria's Matthias Schwab on seven-under par.
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"I can't remember the last time I shot a 65 and was disappointed with myself, to be honest," Lowry said after a ball-striking clinic that generated two eagle chances that he narrowly failed to convert. "I played lovely.
"It was one of those days where I got the number and only had eyes for the flag. I felt good out there today. It is perfect weather for golf, it is pretty easy out there and the scoring shows you that. I will need another one or two of those if I am to contend the next few days."
Schwab (24) followed his opening 65 with a 67 to lead by one stroke on 12-under par from Danny Willett, Ross Fisher, Thomas Detry and Alex Noren with defending champion Justin Rose lurking a shot further back on 10-under after a second successive 67.
Pádraig Harrington also had a good day, closing with a birdie at the ninth for a bogey-free, six-under 66 that left him 45th on three-under.
"I am happy with my score and the way I played," Harrington said. "But to be honest, if I'd have shot five-under I would have been very disappointed. So to birdie the last makes it a bit more palatable."
Meanwhile, Cormac Sharvin made an eagle, a birdie and three bogeys in a level-par 71 in the second round of the Challenge Tour Grand Final in Mallorca.
All but guaranteed his European Tour card through the top 15 in the Rankings, the Ardglass star (26) is tied for 16th on two-over par, seven strokes behind Road to Mallorca leader Francesco Laporta.
At the Second Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School, four Irishmen are in position to make it to next week's Final Stage. Tramore's Robin Dawson shot 73 to share fourth on four-under at Club de Bonmont in Tarragona with Clandeboye's Jonathan Caldwell tied sixth after a 71 as they chase a top-19 finish. Naas' Conor O'Rourke followed his 64 with a four-over 75 to slip to 16th on three-under in the race for 20 spots at Las Colinas in Alicante, where Michael Hoey's second successive 70 left him a shot further back in joint 20th.
David Carey is four shots outside the top 20 on three-over after a 71 at Desert Springs in Almeria.
- Turkish Airlines Open, Live, Sky Sports, 9.0am