Ireland’s Lowry suffers more Dubai frustration
DUBAI: Shane Lowry suffered yet more frustration as the Irishman’s attempt to top the European Tour money list for a first time floundered after another difficult round in the desert yesterday. Going into the season-ending $8 million DP World Tour Championship, the world number 18 was one of seven players still in contention to win the Race to Dubai-the continent’s revamped Order of Merit. However, Thursday’s error-strewn opening round of 75 all but ended his chances and although he improved to card a second-round 70 yesterday, Lowry has now set himself more modest goals for the remaining two days.
“It feels like it’s playing pretty easy out there. I made a few mistakes, another frustrating day,” Lowry told reporters after sinking three bogeys and five birdies for a one-over aggregate total of 145. “My goal was to shoot 68, get back under par, I’m just not playing well enough to be shooting really low. I feel comfortable on the greens, if I can drive a ball a little bit better tomorrow I could shoot mid-60s,” he added. “I still reckon a good weekend and I can backdoor a top 10-15 finish. That’s the goal.”
The 28-year-old’s form has slumped since winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August. In six subsequent events, he has failed to make the top-50 three times and only troubled the leaderboard at two of them. “The game has been driving me mad the last three weeks. I’m looking forward to having a decent weekend and nice week off next week, it’s badly needed,” said Lowry, who began the Dubai event ranked fourth on the money list. The top 15 players will share an additional $5 million in prize money. “I have to look at the guys around me,” added Lowry. “It’s up to me to try and finish as high up the Race to Dubai as I can, maybe fourth or fifth position.”
The Australian Masters In another development, Adam Scott blew a big lead at the Australian Masters yesterday after a torrid back nine allowed Peter Wilson to catch him at the top of the leaderboard. The Australian world number 12 extended his oneshot overnight lead to as many as five strokes midway through day two at par-71 Huntingdale in Melbourne.
But a double bogey on the 10th, a bogey on the 13th and another dropped shot on the 18th changed the complexion for Scott, the 2012 and 2013 Australian Masters champion. He eventually signed for a one-under 70 to be at eightunder 134, level with fellow Australian Wilson, who has shot two successive rounds of 67. One stroke back in outright third was Matt Guyatt (69), who has twice finished in the top 11 in the past three years of this tournament. Scott only found one of five fairways with his wayward driver. “I had a lovely start, playing really solid and then a couple of loose shots on the back nine and I was just grinding to get it into the clubhouse,” he said.
“That’s the way it goes. “It was a shame because I felt like I didn’t do too much too bad but the driver cost me three or four shots. “I just couldn’t get it on the fairway to take advantage of the par fives.”
There are 18 players within five shots of Scott and Wilson on a crowded leaderboard. Brett Rumford shot the day’s low round of 64 to be tied for fourth with American George McNeill. Among those to miss the halfway cut were Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Australian Presidents Cup team member Steven Bowditch, the second-highest ranked player in the field.— Agencies