Sport Golf

Thursday 22 March 2018

Lowry leads Irish challenge in China

SHANE LOWRY shot a four-under-par 68 at Volvo China Open yesterday to finish the second round five shots behind the half-way leader, Kim Do-hoon.

The Irish Open champion fired six birdies, but also carded two bogeys, including one on the 17th, as he moved to six-under overall.

Peter Lawrie was a shot further behind after a level-par 72. Graeme McDowell hit a second 70 and Damien McGrane dropped back to join him on four-under following his 73. Paul McGinley's 72 left him at one under.

Do-hoon (67) was forced to settle for a single-stroke advantage over Thongchai Jaidee (70), Welshman Jamie Donaldson (68) and YE Yang (66) after dropping his only shot of the day at the last.

American Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin (70) and Korea's Kim Dae-hyun (67) were a further three shots off the pace.

Do-hoon picked up three shots in four holes around the turn, but the 21-year-old misjudged the wind into the final green and failed to make the up-and-down.

"I thought I would be quite nervous as it is a big tournament, but I am very comfortable," he said .

World No 48 Jaidee was let down by the putting which has been the key to a recent spell of good form that has yielded two top-10 finishes this year and a run to the quarter-finals of the World Match Play Championships.

Donaldson, who finished sixth at the Open de Andalucia in Malaga at the end of March, is well-placed to land his maiden European Tour title after posting six birdies in his four-under 68.

Yang, having finished eighth at the Masters last week, embarked on a back-nine birdie blitz to close on his equally in-form, but lesser known compatriot. He managed four consecutive birdies from the 11th.

At one stage it seemed as if Yang would catch the leader, but undercooked his approach on the short par-four 16th. Erratic irons on the 17th and 18th also lost him ground and he was lucky to make par on both holes.

Colin Montgomerie restored a little pride in the battle of the Ryder Cup captains by making the cut on four under, with a 68.

Volvo China Open,

Live, Sky Sports 2, 6.0am

Irish Independent

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