Shane Lowry keen to give locals plenty to cheer after strong start to Irish Open

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Lowry was still an amateur when he beat Robert Rock in a play-off to win the Irish Open in 2009.
Posted on
September 7, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Shane Lowry has set his sights on a second Horizon Irish Open title backed by bus-loads of home fans after making a strong start to a massive month of golf.

Lowry carded seven birdies and three bogeys in an opening 68 to trail clubhouse leader Shubhankar Sharma by three shots on a sweltering opening day at The K Club.

The former Open champion, who was still an amateur when he won the Irish Open in 2009, will defend his BMW PGA Championship title next week and then make his second appearance in the Ryder Cup at the end of September, with Europe seeking to regain the trophy in Rome.

Shane Lowry
Shane Lowry tees off on the eighth hole during day one of the 2023 Horizon Irish Open at The K Club (Brian Lawless/PA)

“Take away everything else that’s in the next few weeks, this is a big week for me, ” Lowry said.  “I want to go out there and play well and give myself a chance to win this tournament.

“It’s only 45 minutes to an hour from where I’m from in Clara. I want the people to be getting on their buses on Sunday morning to come and watch me try and win this tournament.

“That’s all I want this week. It’s nothing to do with the Ryder Cup or Wentworth next week or anything.

“This tournament for me is huge. I feel at home here. I live in Florida and I miss home a lot when I’m away. It’s nice to be back.”

Lowry’s 68 was matched by compatriot Mark Power, who carded two birdies and an eagle on the 18th in his first start as a professional, as well as Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald, while Rory McIlroy returned a 69.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy tees off on the 14th during day one of the 2023 Horizon Irish Open at The K Club (Brian Lawless/PA)

McIlroy, who won the tournament the last time it was staged at The K Club in 2016, started on the back nine and bogeyed his first hole following a wayward drive and penalty drop, but birdied his last two holes to end the day on a high.

“I think the two birdies in the last two holes sort of glossed over what was a pretty average day,” McIlroy said. “Didn’t really feel great with anything.

“It’s hard to say I’m rusty when I’ve only had a week off but I just haven’t had a chance to practice much and I just hit a few loose shots out there.

“Managed my game well and scraped it around in three under which is nice and sort of gets me in the tournament.

“I’m hitting good shots but it’s all about knowing your patterns and where you’re missing it and where to aim and where not to aim and just being a little unsure over a couple of shots.”

Sharma’s flawless 65 gave him a one-shot lead over Jordan Smith, Ross Fisher and Ryder Cup vice-captain Thomas Bjorn, who admitted he was as surprised as anyone to find himself near the top of the leaderboard.

The 52-year-old has not played competitively since June due to collarbone and lower back problems, but carded seven birdies and a solitary bogey on the ninth, his final hole.

“I said to my caddie this morning when we walked to the first tee, let’s try to see if we can break 90,” Bjorn said. “It was that kind of day.

“I came here with no expectations and it just shows how silly this game can be. You can work hard for weeks and go out and shoot bad scores.

“Expectations sometimes get in the way of professional golf, as I’ve shown, and then you just go out and enjoy yourself, you’re just happy to be on the golf course after so long.”

Defending champion Adrian Meronk, who admitted on Wednesday he was shocked and angry to be overlooked for a Ryder Cup wild card, matched the 69 of playing partner McIlroy, with the third member of the group, American Billy Horschel, also carding the same score.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1
1SHARMA, Shubhankar-765
2FISHER, Ross-666
BJØRN, Thomas-666
SMITH, Jordan-666
JOHANNESSEN, Kristian Krogh-666
SCHNEIDER, Marcel-666
7WU, Ashun-567
LINDBERG, Mikael-567
BRUN, Julien-567
LONG, Hurly-567
LOMBARD, Zander-567
LUITEN, Joost-567
13PAVON, Matthieu-468
WIEBE, Gunner-468
HILLIER, Daniel-468
WANG, Jeunghun-468
LOWRY, Shane-468
NORRMAN, Vincent-468
PARRY, John-468
ZANOTTI, Fabrizio-468
SÖDERBERG, Sebastian-468
HIDALGO, Angel-468
POWER, Mark-468
DONALD, Luke-468
PAUL, Yannik-468
27NØRGAARD, Niklas-369
SCRIVENER, Jason-369
KIEFFER, Maximilian-369
HILL, Calum-369
SYME, Connor-369
MANSELL, Richard-369
JAMIESON, Scott-369
MCILROY, Rory-369
MERONK, Adrian-369
HORSCHEL, Billy-369
DU PLESSIS, Hennie-369
MIGLIOZZI, Guido-369
GREEN, Gavin-369
LEVY, Alexander-369
FORSSTRÖM, Simon-369
BROWN, Daniel-369
CLEMENTS, Todd-369
46BESSELING, Wil-270
KJELDSEN, Søren-270
RAI, Aaron-270
FORREST, Grant-270
PULKKANEN, Tapio-270
APHIBARNRAT, Kiradech-270
HUIZING, Daan-270
ELVIRA, Nacho-270
LAW, David-270
BACHEM, Nick-270
FERGUSON, Ewen-270
SADDIER, Adrien-270
HIGA, Kazuki-270
TARRIO, Santiago-270
CROCKER, Sean-270
VAN DRIEL, Darius-270
CAMPILLO, Jorge-270
65GUERRIER, Julien-171
WALLACE, Matt-171
OTAEGUI, Adrian-171
WHITNELL, Dale-171
LEE, Min Woo-171
FOX, Ryan-171
DETRY, Thomas-171
PEPPERELL, Eddie-171
LANGASQUE, Romain-171
VÄLIMÄKI, Sami-171
VAN ROOYEN, Erik-171
ARNAUS, Adri-171
WINTHER, Jeff-171
SIEM, Marcel-171
DANTORP, Jens-171
SCHOTT, Freddy-171
WARING, Paul-171
HOGE, Tom-171
OLESEN, Thorbjørn-171
85CATLIN, JohnPar72
GOUGH, JohnPar72
KAWAMURA, MasahiroPar72
BALDWIN, MatthewPar72
LAWRENCE, ThristonPar72
HØJGAARD, RasmusPar72
BJÖRK, AlexanderPar72
MOLINARI, EdoardoPar72
GARCIA, SebastianPar72
BEKKER, OliverPar72
HOSHINO, RikuyaPar72
SHINKWIN, CallumPar72
NIENABER, WilcoPar72
GAVINS, DanielPar72
SOUTHGATE, MatthewPar72
DE JAGER, LouisPar72
MORRISON, JamesPar72
104GANDAS, Manu+173
AXELSEN, John+173
DONALDSON, Jamie+173
KINHULT, Marcus+173
LEE, Joshua+173
COCKERILL, Aaron+173
GALLACHER, Stephen+173
MURPHY, John+173
KO, Jeong weon+173
SAMOOJA, Kalle+173
VEERMAN, Johannes+173
COLSAERTS, Nicolas+173
SCOTT, Adam+173
HARRINGTON, Padraig+173
120NEMECZ, Lukas+274
EASTON, Bryce+274
RAVETTO, David+274
PURCELL, Conor+274
STRYDOM, Ockie+274
SORDET, Clément+274
HUNDEBØLL, Oliver+274
WARREN, Marc+274
SCHMID, Matti+274
ARMITAGE, Marcus+274
ROZNER, Antoine+274
RAMSAY, Richie+274
LEE, Craig+274
HANNA, Chase+274
137SCIOT-SIEGRIST, Robin+375
LI, Haotong+375
SULLIVAN, Andy+375
VAN TONDER, Daniel+375
SIMONSEN, Martin+375
HATTON, Tyrrell+375
DEL REY, Alejandro+375
145MAGUIRE, Alex (AM)+476
KIMSEY, Nathan+476
CALDWELL, Jonathan+476
WILSON, Oliver+476
LAGERGREN, Joakim+476
WILSON, Andrew+476
WILLETT, Danny+476
152DUBUISSON, Victor+577
JORDAN, Matthew+577
155KIM, Yeongsu+678
WALTERS, Justin+678
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