McIlroy admits to feeling ‘a little lost’ after opening 74 at Irish Open
Shane Lowry and Michael Hoey one shot off leader Oscar Floren at Carton House
Lowry admitted: “It’s great to shoot five under today and it great to be up at the top of the leaderboard but there are three rounds left. The momentum from Germany I’ve definitely brought into this week. I played decently in the practise round on Tuesday and played pretty much flawless golf yesterday in the Pro-Am.
“You know, there were quite a few people watching and I was trying not to go too low in the Pro-Am yesterday because I knew everyone would be shouting about and I didn’t really want that and I didn’t really want too much hype. Yeah, playing well but there’s still three days left.
“The crowd from home are great and I’m sure there’s going to be quite a few coming up tomorrow and for the rest of the week. It’s great to have them here and you know it’s a pleasure to be out there dealing with people from home cheering you on.”
Lowry has the benefits of home advantage this week as he owns a house on the course, but revealed: “Family are banned from the house until Sunday afternoon.
“I always hang out with Graeme Storm and Oliver Fisher and when the tournament was announced I said they could stay with me. I’m trying to keep my routine as normal as possible this week.
“It would seem like there should be more pressure on me this week, but I’m looking at it as an advantage. I play this course week-in, week-out and know it like the back of my hand.
“I went to Baltray just happy to be there and would have been happy going home with four rounds under my belt, but obviously I came away with a lot more than that. This week and 2009 is like chalk and cheese. You can say I’m coming here trying to win the tournament but I’m trying not to talk too much about it.”
Hoey was amongst the afternoon starters and carded six birdies and a bogey to join Lowry on five under.
Limerick’s Cian McNamara was a shot further back after a round that included three birdies on his back nine, while Waterford’s Séamus Power had an eagle on the fourth on the way to a three-under, a score that was matched by Simon Thornton.
Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley shot a two under 70, while Gareth Maybin and Pádraig Harrington both shot 71 to complete the Irish golfers under par.