The Open Championship R2

Lowry ready to carry Irish hopes as he co-leads the Open with two days to go

July 18-21
Royal Portrush GC, Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
$10,750,000
Live leaderboard
Round 1, Round 3, Round 4


A year after sacking his caddie following his fourth straight missed cut in the Open, Ireland’s Shane Lowry will take a share of the lead – and Rory McIlroy’s fervent support – into the third round of the year’s final major.

The Open Championship R2 - Lowry ready to carry Irish hopes as he co-leads the Open with two days to go
Shane Lowry claimed a share of the lead in the 148th Open at Royal Portrush (Richard Sellers/PA)

Lowry carded a second consecutive 67 at Royal Portrush to join American JB Holmes on eight under par, with Tommy Fleetwood – who could follow Ryder Cup partner Francesco Molinari in lifting the Claret Jug – and Lee Westwood a shot behind.

Olympic champion Justin Rose is a stroke further back alongside Cameron Smith and Justin Harding, with world number one Brooks Koepka ominously poised on five under in pursuit of a fifth major win in his last 10 starts.

Former champion Jordan Spieth was alongside Koepka after a 67, but McIlroy and Tiger Woods missed the halfway cut, McIlroy agonisingly doing so by a single shot after following his opening 79 with a superb 65.


An emotional McIlroy fought back tears in his post-round interviews but said: “I can’t wait to watch Shane over the weekend.

“He will relish these conditions and he’s the home boy up there now so he’s going to get all the support I got today and I would love nothing more than to see Shane get his name on that Claret Jug.”

Lowry had stormed into a two-stroke lead with six birdies in his first 10 holes and although he dropped shots on the 14th and 18th, the world number 33 revelled in the support of a sell-out crowd.

“I had a great time today, it was just unbelievable. One of those days where you find yourself pinching yourself,” Lowry said.

“I can’t explain how good the crowds were, a day that I’ll remember. Walking down 18 was something special. I’m a bit disappointed to bogey the last but I’m right where I wanted to be and delighted with my two days’ work.

“I’m in a great position going into the weekend of an Open Championship but there’s two long days left. There are times when it’s not going to be easy and I’ve just got to take it on the chin.”

The Open Championship R2 - Lowry ready to carry Irish hopes as he co-leads the Open with two days to go
Ireland’s Shane Lowry plays his shot from the crowd on the 17th hole at Royal Portrush (David Davies/PA)

Asked about the enormous support he will receive over the weekend, the 32-year-old from Offaly added: “Next week I’l be in Memphis and there’ll probably be 10 men and a dog following me. Tomorrow there’s going to be thousands cheering me on so I’m going to enjoy it.”

Fleetwood was expected to contend for one of the game’s biggest prizes this year after his consistent displays in 2018, the Ryder Cup star finishing 17th in the Masters, second in the US Open – after a record-equalling 63 in the final round – 12th in the Open and 35th in the US PGA.

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However, so far this season his best result is a tie for 36th at Augusta National and the 28-year-old also failed to convert good chances to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship earlier in the year.

A bogey on the first was quickly cancelled out by a birdie on the par-five second and Fleetwood also picked up shots on the fifth, 12th, 13th and 15th before bouncing back from a bogey on the 16th to birdie the last.

“Yesterday I felt like it was a lot more stress-free, today I made two or three really good par saves but I am happy with the challenge,” said Fleetwood, who partnered Molinari to four wins out of four at Le Golf National last year.


“It’s not going to be all-singing and all-dancing in majors and I was up to the test. I think all you can do is you can put yourself up there and gain experience that way and know how things pan out on a Saturday and Sunday at a major.

“I think last year I teed off on the last day at five under and birdied the first and Frankie ended up with a birdie on the last to get to eight (under). I wasn’t miles away with not very long in the tournament to go so I’ve got that behind me.”

Rose was also in contention at Carnoustie last year and finished in a tie for second, his best result in the Open since finishing fourth as 17-year-old amateur at Birkdale in 1998.

“It was nice to get that monkey off my back because up until then I had not been able to beat my 17-year-old self,” the 2013 US Open champion said. “I’m not getting ahead of myself but it’s a good position to be in.”

The Open Championship R2 - Lowry ready to carry Irish hopes as he co-leads the Open with two days to go
Justin Rose finished fourth in the 1998 Open as a 17-year-old amateur (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Westwood extended his own unwanted record of most top-three finishes in major championships without a victory to nine when he was joint second in the 2016 Masters and also let slip a two-shot lead after 54 holes in the 2013 Open at Muirfield.

“I’ve always gone out and done my best,” the 46-year-old said. “If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Just go home and have dinner, go on holiday the next week. Do the same things, life won’t change.”


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
Total
T1
J. B. Holmes
USA
-8
66
68
134
T1
Shane Lowry
IRL
-8
67
67
134
T3
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-7
68
67
135
T3
Lee Westwood
ENG
-7
68
67
135
T5
Cameron Smith
AUS
-6
70
66
136
T5
Justin Harding
RSA
-6
71
65
136
T5
Justin Rose
ENG
-6
69
67
136
T8
Brooks Koepka
USA
-5
68
69
137
T8
Jordan Spieth
USA
-5
70
67
137
T8
Andrew Putnam
USA
-5
70
67
137
T8
Dylan Frittelli
RSA
-5
68
69
137
T12
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-4
70
68
138
T12
Lucas Bjerregaard
DNK
-4
70
68
138
T12
Tony Finau
USA
-4
68
70
138
T12
Patrick Reed
USA
-4
71
67
138
T12
Jon Rahm
ESP
-4
68
70
138
T12
Matt Kuchar
USA
-4
70
68
138
T18
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
-3
68
71
139
T18
Dustin Johnson
USA
-3
72
67
139
T18
Alexander Noren
SWE
-3
68
71
139
T18
Webb Simpson
USA
-3
68
71
139
T18
Henrik Stenson
SWE
-3
70
69
139
T18
Xander Schauffele
USA
-3
74
65
139
T18
Rickie Fowler
USA
-3
70
69
139
T25
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
-2
73
67
140
T25
Rory Sabbatini
SVK
-2
70
70
140
T25
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-2
72
68
140
T25
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-2
72
68
140
T25
Ernie Els
RSA
-2
71
69
140
T25
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-2
71
69
140
T25
Robert MacIntyre
SCO
-2
68
72
140
T32
Justin Thomas
USA
-1
71
70
141
T32
Aaron Wise
USA
-1
72
69
141
T32
Danny Willett
ENG
-1
74
67
141
T32
Lucas Glover
USA
-1
72
69
141
T32
Patrick Cantlay
USA
-1
70
71
141
T32
Sang-Hyun Park
KOR
-1
69
72
141
T32
Romain Langasque
FRA
-1
69
72
141
T32
Branden Grace
RSA
-1
70
71
141
T32
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-1
68
73
141
T32
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
-1
72
69
141
T32
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
-1
68
73
141
T32
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
-1
70
71
141
T32
Russell Knox
SCO
-1
70
71
141
T32
Kevin Kisner
USA
-1
70
71
141
T32
Jim Furyk
USA
-1
73
68
141
T32
Callum Shinkwin
ENG
-1
70
71
141
T48
Stewart Cink
USA
Par
74
68
142
T48
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
Par
70
72
142
T48
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
Par
70
72
142
T48
Joost Luiten
NED
Par
73
69
142
T48
Doc Redman
USA
Par
71
71
142
T48
Kevin Streelman
USA
Par
77
65
142
T48
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
Par
70
72
142
T48
Kyle Stanley
USA
Par
75
67
142
T48
Paul Casey
ENG
Par
72
70
142
T48
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
Par
73
69
142
T58
In-Choon Hwang
KOR
1
72
71
143
T58
Ryan Fox
NZL
1
68
75
143
T58
Adam Hadwin
CAN
1
74
69
143
T58
Tom Lewis
ENG
1
75
68
143
T58
Nino Bertasio
ITA
1
72
71
143
T58
Matt Wallace
ENG
1
73
70
143
T58
Yuki Inamori
JPN
1
70
73
143
T58
Andrew Wilson
ENG
1
76
67
143
T58
Ashton Turner
ENG
1
69
74
143
T58
Yosuke Asaji
JPN
1
72
71
143
T58
Charley Hoffman
USA
1
70
73
143
T58
Bubba Watson
USA
1
72
71
143
T58
Graeme McDowell
NIR
1
73
70
143
T58
Jason Kokrak
USA
1
74
69
143
T58
Francesco Molinari
ITA
1
74
69
143
T58
Paul Waring
ENG
1
75
68
143
CUT
Abraham Ancer
USA
2
72
72
144
CUT
Alexander Levy
FRA
2
73
71
144
CUT
Andrew Johnston
ENG
2
73
71
144
CUT
Brandt Snedeker
USA
2
74
70
144
CUT
Brian Harman
USA
2
72
72
144
CUT
Connor Syme
SCO
2
72
72
144
CUT
James Sugrue
IRL
2
71
73
144
CUT
Jason Day
AUS
2
70
74
144
CUT
Keegan Bradley
USA
2
73
71
144
CUT
Keith Mitchell
USA
2
75
69
144
CUT
Nate Lashley
USA
2
75
69
144
CUT
Rory McIlroy
NIR
2
79
65
144
CUT
Takumi Kanaya
JPN
2
73
71
144
CUT
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
3
73
72
145
CUT
Chez Reavie
USA
3
73
72
145
CUT
Chris Wood
ENG
3
73
72
145
CUT
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
3
74
71
145
CUT
Darren Clarke
NIR
3
71
74
145
CUT
Dong-Kyu Jang
KOR
3
76
69
145
CUT
Gary Woodland
USA
3
74
71
145
CUT
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
3
71
74
145
CUT
Kurt Kitayama
USA
3
74
71
145
CUT
Padraig Harrington
IRL
3
75
70
145
CUT
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
3
70
75
145
CUT
David Lipsky
USA
4
74
72
146
CUT
Doyeob Mun
KOR
4
74
72
146
CUT
Haotong Li
CHN
4
74
72
146
CUT
Jack Senior
ENG
4
75
71
146
CUT
Matthew Baldwin
ENG
4
78
68
146
CUT
Patton Kizzire
USA
4
73
73
146
CUT
Sung-Hoon Kang
KOR
4
74
72
146
CUT
Yoshinori Fujimoto
JPN
4
75
71
146
CUT
Zach Johnson
USA
4
74
72
146
CUT
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
5
77
70
147
CUT
Billy Horschel
USA
5
76
71
147
CUT
Brandon Stone
RSA
5
72
75
147
CUT
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
5
74
73
147
CUT
Isidro Benitez
MEX
5
75
72
147
CUT
Jake McLeod
AUS
5
76
71
147
CUT
Jazz Janewattananond
THA
5
74
73
147
CUT
Joaquin Niemann
CHI
5
76
71
147
CUT
Matthias Schmid
5
76
71
147
CUT
Mikumu Horikawa
JPN
5
71
76
147
CUT
Paul Lawrie
SCO
5
75
72
147
CUT
Robert Rock
ENG
5
76
71
147
CUT
Corey Conners
CAN
6
72
76
148
CUT
Gunn Charoenkul
THA
6
72
76
148
CUT
Jimmy Walker
USA
6
74
74
148
CUT
Joel Dahmen
USA
6
76
72
148
CUT
Oliver Wilson
ENG
6
73
75
148
CUT
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
6
73
75
148
CUT
Tiger Woods
USA
6
78
70
148
CUT
Zander Lombard
RSA
6
71
77
148
CUT
Andrea Pavan
ITA
7
73
76
149
CUT
Brandon Wu
USA
7
73
76
149
CUT
Chan Kim
USA
7
75
74
149
CUT
Ian Poulter
ENG
7
75
74
149
CUT
Jorge Campillo
ESP
7
76
73
149
CUT
Luke List
USA
7
73
76
149
CUT
Ryan Palmer
USA
7
74
75
149
CUT
Shaun Norris
RSA
7
73
76
149
CUT
Adria Arnaus
ESP
8
75
75
150
CUT
Marc Leishman
AUS
8
78
72
150
CUT
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
8
77
73
150
CUT
Phil Mickelson
USA
8
76
74
150
CUT
Adam Scott
AUS
9
78
73
151
CUT
Andy Sullivan
ENG
9
76
75
151
CUT
Cheng Tsung Pan
TPE
9
77
74
151
CUT
Curtis Knipes
ENG
9
72
79
151
CUT
Richard Sterne
RSA
9
78
73
151
CUT
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
9
71
80
151
CUT
Yuta Ikeda
JPN
9
76
75
151
CUT
Emiliano Grillo
ARG
10
73
79
152
CUT
Garrick Porteous
ENG
10
79
73
152
CUT
Sam Locke
SCO
10
75
77
152
CUT
Shugo Imahira
JPN
10
83
69
152
CUT
Austin Connelly
CAN
12
75
79
154
CUT
Prom Meesawat
THA
12
73
81
154
CUT
Tom Lehman
USA
12
78
76
154
CUT
Dimitrios Papadatos
AUS
13
83
72
155
CUT
Miguel Angel Jimenez
ESP
13
82
73
155
CUT
Thomas Thurloway
ENG
14
83
73
156
CUT
David Duval
USA
27
91
78
169