Ire­land’s Lowry suf­fers more Dubai frus­tra­tion

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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

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