Shane Lowry’s 72 leaves him with an uphill task in Turkey
Tiger Woods lies one under through 10 after failing to take advantage of conditions
Shane Lowry cuts a frustrated figure in yesterday’s first round of the Turkish Airlines Open. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
You don’t win anything in the first round of a golf tournament, especially one disrupted by the weather gods – a three-hour suspension of play resulting in only 15 of the 78 competitors managing to finish their rounds yesterday before darkness fell here in Belek – but Shane Lowry’s post-round demeanour was of a man who feared the horse had already bolted.
The Offalyman, one of those who completed his first round of the Turkish Airlines Open on the Colin Montgomerie-designed Maxx Royal course, signed for a level-par 72 that included an uncustomary three-putt from two feet for a double bogey.
It has left him with an uphill task to contend, on a soft course yielding a plethora of birdies: Paul Casey, the Irish Open champion, Darren Fichardt and Steve Webster had all reached seven-under par at varying points on their incomplete rounds, while Richardo Gonzalez and Thorbjorn Olesen opened with 66s, six under, to establish the mark in the clubhouse.
After a morning when thunderstorms drenched the course, which led to placing being allowed on fairways, players – in the main – took advantage of perfect scoring conditions with little or no wind. Tiger Woods was one of those who didn’t, however. The world number one was one under through 10 holes. “I’m still working on getting a bit of the rust out of my game,” he admitted.
Lowry was the only one of the three Irish players in the field to finish. Pádraig Harrington got off to a hot start with three birdies in his opening five holes but reeled off 11 successive pars to be on three under through 16 holes when the siren sounded to suspend play due to fading light; and Damien McGrane, benefiting from a late spot in the field, was two under through 11 holes.
“It’s a bit frustrating,” admitted Lowry of his failure to take advantage of conditions made for low scoring. “I think I am putting too much pressure on myself, to be honest. I’m thinking too far ahead. I want to contend in tournaments and I am anxious to do that. Maybe too anxious!
“I think that’s where I am going wrong. It’s hard to try to stop that (thinking ahead). When you do, you do it even more . . . it’s going to be a low scoring week and to start off level par is disappointing.
He added: “I’m hoping to be in with a chance on Sunday, definitely trying to secure a top 10. I feel I can shoot 15 under for three rounds and I’ll be alright. But, there again, I’m talking and getting ahead of myself.”