Lowry and McDowell storm into share of the lead in Florida

Irish duo card bogey-free 64 to join Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair on 18 under

Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell are in a share of the lead at the QBE Shootout  in Naples, Florida. Photograph: Getty Images

Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell are in a share of the lead at the QBE Shootout in Naples, Florida. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell will start the final day of the QBE Shootout with a share of the lead after a blistering second-round 64 in Naples, Florida.

The Irish pair picked up three shots on the first two holes and finished eight-under-par for the greensomes, a modified alternate-shot format over the Gold Course at the Tiburon Golf Club, to join Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair on 18 under.

Overnight leaders Stricker and O’Hair struggled to repeat their heroics on the opening day, where they teamed up for a scramble-format 57.

Between them on the second day, they managed seven birdies, but four dropped shots prevented them from taking a lead into Sunday’s final better-ball round.

Lowry and McDowell, who started the day five shots behind Stricker and O’Hair, are the only pair of 12 yet to drop a shot over two days.

Shot of the day came from Lowry on the 15th fairway, when his approach to the green gave McDowell the simplest of birdie putts to move to eight under for the round and 18 under for the tournament.

Brendan Steele and Keegan Bradley are two shots adrift on 16 under par, while Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau are three shots off the lead.

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