Sport Golf

Saturday 19 October 2019

McIlroy and Lowry keep Jordan in their sights

McIlroy: Six off the pace. Photo: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
McIlroy: Six off the pace. Photo: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry hit route 66 to keep leader Matthew Jordan in their sights at the €4.4million Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

McIlroy looked set to fire a super-low round at Kingsbarns when he made an eagle and three birdies to be five-under after just five holes. While he would pick up just one more shot, he was pleased to shoot 62 with his dad Gerry, who shot three-under on his own ball, moving them to within three of the leaders in the pro-am event.

"It was looking like, jeez, I could shoot something really low with three par fives coming up. But it wasn't to be," said McIlroy.

"I just need to make a few more putts fall over the weekend at St Andrews."

McIlroy is six behind England's Jordan who shot a 64 on the Old Course to lead Scot Calum Hill, compatriot Matthew Southgate and Swede Joakim Lagergren by a shot on 14-under. But while the world No 2 was frustrated not to build on his start, he wants to win the team title for his father.

"Honestly, it would probably mean more to me to win the team event than it would to win the individual. It's just to do it with him and how much this event means to him and how much he enjoys it," added McIlroy.

Pádraig Harrington shot a four-under 68 to share 42nd place on seven under, while Lowry made seven birdies in a 66 to share 79th with Jon Rahm on five-under.

Lowry still needs a low round at St Andrews today to make the cut, but it will be a challenge for Graeme McDowell whose 70 at Kingsbarns left him on two under.

Greystones' Paul Dunne made a quadruple bogey eight at the 13th in a 75 on the Old Course and at one over needs a sensational round at Carnoustie today if he's to avoid his 10th missed cut of the season.

On the Challenge Tour, Cormac Sharvin fired a three-under 69 to make the cut with ease in the Hopps Open de Provence. Ranked sixth in the Road to Mallorca race for 15 European Tour cards, he's 25th on three-under par and seven strokes adrift of Germany's Sebastian Heisele and French amateur Jeong Weon Ko. Portmarnock's Robin Dawson shot 74 to miss the cut way back on 11-over par.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Meadow withdrew after her second round in the LPGA Tour's Indy Women in Tech Championship in Indianapolis, but there was better news on the Symetra Tour, where Leona Maguire opened with a 70 in the IOA Golf Classic.

The Slieve Russell star finished six shots behind Germany's Sophia Popov and England's Holly Clyburn, who opened with 64s.

In seniors golf, former Irish Open and European Open winner Stephen Dodd shot an eight-under 64 to lead the Murhof Legends - Austrian Senior Open by one stroke.

Malahide's Philip Walton signed for a one-over 73, while Frenchman Thomas Levet holed his 235-yard second for an albatross two at the par-five seventh in a 66.

Elsewhere, at the PGA Tour's Safeway Open in California, Canada's Nick Taylor (66), South African Dylan Frittelli (65), Adam Long (68) and Justin Thomas (64) shared the early clubhouse lead on nine-under.

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