Shane Lowry wielded a hot putter and punched in a seven-under 63 to roar into contention for the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro.
Needing a good finish to make the top 125 who qualify for the first FedEx Cup Playoff event at TPC Boston next week, the Open champion is in Greensboro to win, not make calculations.
“I know a top 15 will probably be OK,” Lowry (right) said after making eight birdies and 126 feet of putts in his lowest PGA Tour round since that third-round 63 at Royal Portrush.
“But at the end of the day, I feel like I am at a different level than that. I feel I am here to win a golf tournament. I don’t feel I am here just to make it to next week.”
Tied 42nd overnight, Lowry bogeyed the 11th but made 15-footers at the 13th, 15th and 16th to turn in two-under, then scorched home in five-under 30 with the highlight an eagle at the fifth, where he ripped a 242-yard four-iron to seven feet.
“Two-under yesterday after playing lovely was quite disappointing,” said Lowry, who was one stroke adrift of clubhouse leaders Tom Hoge, Si Woo Kim and Talor Gooch on nine-under.
“I knew I needed to go out and shoot a decent number to try and put myself up there going into the weekend and I’ve done that.”
Seamus Power needs a top-four finish to make the Playoffs, but a 69 left him sweating on the projected three-under cut mark.
At the European Tour’s Celtic Classic, Clandeboye’s Jonny Caldwell fired a bogey-free, five-under 66 to leap to sixth place, just three shots behind England’s Sam Horsfield, whose 64 gave him a one-shot lead over Thomas Pieters on 11-under. Cormac Sharvin is 26th on four-under after a 67, but Gavin Moynihan shot 71 to miss the level-par cut by three strokes, with Paul McGinley seven-over after a 74.
Meanwhile, Leona Maguire was seven behind American Stacy Lewis and Spain’s Azahara Muñoz after a second successive 72 left her on two-over in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club.
Darren Clarke’s 70 left him seven shots adrift of Jerry Kelly on five-over in the Bridgestone Senior Players.
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