While Rory McIlroy was supposed to be the great hope for Ireland this week at The Open, it was another Irishman who stepped up to carry the baton.
Shane Lowry has not only taken over The Open, but he is putting on a clinic. Through 54 holes, Lowry holds a four-stroke lead over Englishman Tommy Fleetwood. Those two are followed by J.B. Holmes at 10-under and Brooks Koepka at nine-under.
Koepka appeared to be spot on with his irons, but he struggled on the greens. Koepka hit nearly 78% of greens in regulation but couldn’t make a putt inside two feet. He averaged 1.61 putts and in order to keep pace with Lowry, he’ll have to do better than that.
Lowry’s overall score of 197, is a 54-hole record low for The Open and ties the second lowest 54-hole record in major championship history.
Lowry: “That’s the most incredible day I’ve ever had on the golf course.”
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) July 20, 2019
Lowry has been in this position before.
In 2016, Lowry held the 54-hole lead in the U.S. Open at Oakmont. When he finished that Saturday, Dustin Johnson was three-strokes back at three-under.
That Sunday in 2016, was a round that Lowry would probably rather forget. He made seven bogies and one birdie to shoot 76 and finish three strokes behind DJ at T2.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 20, 2019
While The Open is a place that weather usually comes into play, the forecast for the leaders tomorrow is not really what anyone wants to see.
Forecast for Sunday includes: "Outbreaks of heavy rain likely (80%) after 1600.
Wind: 15-20mph gusts 30-35mph. 20% risk of 40mph gusts after 1600" #TheOpen
— Phil Casey (@pcaseysafc) July 20, 2019
I’m sure there are plenty who will disagree with me and say that these guys should be out there playing in 40 mph gusts and rain, I just don’t care to watch that. I’d rather see these guys play in 20-30 mph winds and rain and be able to find their ball.
Michael is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Stiff Shaft. He is also the Senior Editor of Golfweek Custom Media and covers the World Long Drive for Golf Channel.
He has 8+ years of covering golf, is an LSU fan, and prefers to hit driver-wedge as often as possible.