Ice cold putter sees Shane Lowry stall on moving day

Sole Irish player to make the US Open cut struggles on the greens in third round

Shane Lowry signed for a third round 73 at Erin Hills. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty

Shane Lowry signed for a third round 73 at Erin Hills. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty

 

There were times Shane Lowry must have felt like he had gate-crashed a special homecoming party for local hero Steve Stricker in the third round of the US Open at Erin Hills . . . there were times he must have wished he could borrow the American’s putting stroke too.

On what is known as moving day, Lowry’s quest to move in an upward trajectory up the leader board was hampered by a putter that simply refused to be obedient: the 30-year-old Offalyman spurned numerous birdie chances, and eventually signed for a 73 for a 54-hole total of 218, two-over, that left him in tied-50th with one round to go.

“Ah, it was quite frustrating,” admitted Lowry, who had to wait until the Par 5 18th before finally managing to put a birdie onto his scorecard.

It is not as if Lowry didn’t have chances. In fact, after a three-putt bogey on the ninth - where he’d an eight-footer birdie, putted seven feet by the hole and then had to hole a four-footer to avoid a double - Lowry gave himself birdie chance after birdie chance on the homeward run but time and time again was thwarted.

“We were told on the first tee the greens were the same speed (as the first two rounds), but I’m not too sure they were . .. . the good thing is if I can go out and shoot four- or five-under (in the final round), then I can still have a good week,” said Lowry, who spent time working on his wedges and his putting after his round.

Lowry was the only Irishman to survive the midway cut, which saw Paul Dunne, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell all miss out.

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