Saturday 18 November 2017

Lowry enjoys his home comforts while Harrington and G-Mac endure marathon

Padraig Harrington lines up a putt on the 12th hole during a continuation of the second round at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Padraig Harrington lines up a putt on the 12th hole during a continuation of the second round at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

William S Callahan

Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell faced a marathon day's golf in the weather-affected Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in California, but for Shane Lowry it was a case of home comforts and watching sport on TV.

Such were the contrasting fortunes of the three Irish golfers who teed it up in round one of the Genesis Open full of optimism last Thursday.

Lowry came into the event playing decent golf. Harrington had missed three cuts and needed a cortisone injection for his neck injury to play at Riviera, while G-Mac was playing his first event of 2017 on the PGA Tour.

Fog delayed the start by an hour on Thursday. On Friday storms lashed the Los Angeles area, causing a loss of seven hours' playing time, and another two hour delay on Saturday was needed for course staff to repair the extensive damage arising from the previous day's storm.

Lowry did not wait for that. He was +6 with two holes to play in his second round, and was among a number of withdrawals on Friday night, including title holder Bubba Watson.

Hence Lowry's early trip home and a Sunday spent relaxing on his couch and tweeting his thoughts on the day's sporting events.

On hurling he tweeted: "Pauric maher is some horse of a man"; soccer - "Jaysus it's hard to go from watching a good game of hurling to watching united v Blackburn #snorefest" and golf etiquette: "What's it gonna take for players to start shouting fore. A signed ball or glove is no good to anyone if they are seriously injured???".

Meanwhile, the remaining players, including Harrington and McDowell, played 36 holes yesterday in a tournament increasingly dominated by Dustin Johnson.

The US Open champion shot 64 in round three to lead by six shots on 17- under from nearest challenger Wesley Bryan.

Harrington's third round 70 put him on -4 going into the final 18 holes, while McDowell was on three-under par with 71.

G-Mac's steady progress was undermined by a horrible quadruple-bogey 8 on the par-4 12th where he was in trouble off his second shot, and had to take a penalty drop.

A three-putt compounded the damage, and he slumped to 77, for 287 (+3).

Harrington played steadily, registering two birdies and three bogeys for 72 and three-under par.

Irish Independent

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