Sunday 21 January 2018

'I'm sick of people talking about it and I'm sick of listening to it' - Shane Lowry bites back at criticism

'Lowry, a huge fan of the tournament, struggled to find his rhythm.' Photo: Reuters
'Lowry, a huge fan of the tournament, struggled to find his rhythm.' Photo: Reuters

William S Callahan

Shane Lowry revealed his frustration at questions about his putting after shooting 74 in round two of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth yesterday.

Lowry had opened with a 68, but struggled for inspiration on the West Course and ended up tied for 19th on two-under par.

That left him five shots behind joint leaders Francesco Molinari, Scott Jamieson and Thomas Pieters, all on -7.

The Irishman is not out of the equation by any means, but while his putter went cold on him yesterday, he did not take too kindly to questions about his performance on the greens.

Speaking to RTE Sport, Lowry said: "I'm not struggling on the greens. I'm sick of people talking about it and I'm sick of listening to it.

I've worked my nuts off all year, and I finally turned around the last few week, and I'm still listening to people talk about it. I'm happy where my game is and I'm looking forward to the summer."

His compatriot, Paul Dunne, felt unwell throughout the day. It was a tall order to cope with the physical problems as well as the golfing challenge in round two, but he kept grinding and finished on 75, three-over par on the day, and +2 overall.

Dunne is playing Wentworth for the first time and generally feels quite comfortable on tree-lined parkland layouts, but Wentworth in the first event of the new Rolex Series is no place to feel under the weather.

The Greystones native managed only one birdie - a four on the par-5, 12th en route to his 75 which meant he had done enough to make the cut which fell at two-over par.

Ryder Cup stars Francesco Molinari and Pieters joined Jamieson in a triple tie at the top on seven-under par.

Molinari and Jamieson shot 70, while Pieters carded 69 to set the pace going into the weekend.

Pádraig Harrington and Damien McGrane both finished on three-over par for 36 holes, scoring 74 and 73 respectively.

Harrington had not played a competitive round since the end of February.

The good news was that his neck, which had required surgery for a trapped nerve, showed no adverse reaction to his return to the game.

The bad news was his bogey six on the final hole after making birdie on the 16th and 17th. That dropped shot put Harrington into the red zone instead of keeping him safely in the tournament.

Darren Clarke made his exit on 6-over par with a closing 77, despite slotting in two eagles, the first on the par-5 12th, and the second at the long 17th.

Old Conna club pro Neil O'Briain also shot 77 and missed the cut.

Meanwhile Graeme McDowell played his own version of 'snakes and ladders' in the Dean & Deluca Invitational at Colonial CC in Forth Worth, Texas.

McDowell began the day on four-under par.

After nine holes he had slipped back to one-under, but staged a defiant rally on the back nine, with three birdies in five holes setting up a level par 70 for the day.

The 2010 US Open champion holed from inside three feet on the 10th, from 14 feet on the 11th, and slotted a 10 foot putt on the 14th.

Webb Simpson, Kevin Kisner, Danny Lee and Scott Piercy were joint leaders on six-under par.

Waterford's Gary Hurley shot 65 for ten-under par to lie two shots off the lead held by Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen in the D+D Czech Masters.

Michael Hoey had a second successive 68 for -8.

BMW Championship
Live, Sky Sports 4, 12.0pm

Dean & Deluca Invitational
Live, Sky Sports 4, 6.0pm

Irish Independent

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