Lowry refuses to give up but both he and Harrington miss cut
Offaly man makes a 25-ft birdie putt on the 17th but it was to prove in vain
Pádraig Harrington tees off on the first hole during Round 2 of the 79th Masters at Augusta National. Photo: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty
A tale of two Irishmen. No green jacket for Pádraig Harrington; none for Shane Lowry either, but the 28-year-old Offalyman – on his debut appearance – fought to the death in his bid to hang around. He at least threw himself his own lifeline with a 25-foot birdie on the 17th, en route to a 72 for a midway total of 147, but would miss the cut by a single shot.
Lowry has proven to be a battler. Of all the times for a snap hook to sneak its way into a golfer’s armoury, this tournament on this course is about the worse timing imaginable.
That’s what happened to Lowry. “I think I’m just swinging the club badly, getting so far underneath it that I have got a snap hook in there. It’s not ideal when you are trying to sort it out on the Friday morning of the Masters,” he said.
Everyone, at some stage, is afflicted by the cursed snap hook. In the past, Lowry’s solution has been to revert to hitting a fade. “But you can’t do that around here. I found out what I was doing (on the range), but it is a lot harder to trust out on the golf course. I am not getting myself in position to shoot a real low score. You have to drive it into position. if you do, a score is on. I am just not getting myself there.”
Lowry’s tee shot on the downhill 10th was what he called “decent, not good”. A good tee shot, he assessed, would have had him hitting a seven-iron approach. Instead, he was left with a five-iron off a downhill lie.
But having reached one-under on his round, despite failing to hole a four-footer for birdie on the eighth, he was shaping up well. However, a bogey on the 11th was followed by his failure to birdie the Par five 13th, where he had to take a penalty drop after a hooked tee shot and still saved par. On the 15th, with 222 yards to the green, he hit a five-wood approach that caught in the wind and finished up in the pond in front of the green. It led to a bogey six.
But Lowry kept going. His chip on the 16th hit the cup, but didn’t fall; then, on the 17th, he got his lifeline with a 25-footer for birdie that got him back to plus-three and on the cut line at that point although he looked set to just miss out.
From the start, things didn’t go Harrington’s way. On the first hole, with his very first swing, the ball moved right of its intended trajectory and into one of the deep fairway bunkers at the 290 yards mark. But it was as he played the bunker shot that someone moved – one of his fellow players. And not just any player. A Ryder Cup team-mate of all people!
Not a time to stand on ceremony, Harrington let Thomas Bjorn know what he thought of his failure to stand still. The great Dane shrugged as if to indicate he hadn’t done anything. But Harrington had made his point, for better or worse.
Bjorn didn’t move on the Irishman’s shots for the rest of the round; not that the desired end result materialised, as Harrington failed to make the midway cut. Harrington shot a second round 77 for 149, outside the cut.
“I didn’t play great, certainly didn’t get many breaks out there. That’s the nature of the golf course. It was one of those days when nothing was really going for me,” he claimed.