Sports

Lowry challenge falters on final day but Dubai qualification secured

Thursday, 9 November 2017

SHANE Lowry took a major step forward when he effectively sealed qualification to the season ending World Tour Championship in Dubai at the Turkish Airlines Open at Antalya last weekend.
While Lowry was disappointed that he didn't mount a final day charge after being in a great position going into Sunday's final round, his eight place finish saw him earn 134,091 euros and move from 62nd up to 49th on the European Tour's money list.
The top sixty qualify for the Dubai shootout on November 19 and with just one event left before that, this weekend's Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, where Lowry is competing, the Clara man should be home and dry.
Getting into the top sixty was his primary objective in Turkey and he achieved that in style but it could have been so much better for him after three sensational rounds on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
He got off to a very solid start on Thursday, with a three under 68, hitting four birdies and the only blemish was a bogey five on the 18th.
On Friday, he played even better with a -5 66. Playing some quite magnificent golf, Lowry had birdies on 2, 5, 7, 13, 114, 16 and 17 to go with bogeys on the second and another one on 18.
He played flawless golf on Saturday with six birdies giving him a -65 and he was joint first with Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat
It meant that he was in the final pairing on Sunday and his form was good enough to suggest that a third win on the European Tour could happen. Unfortunately for Lowry, he couldn't find his best game on Sunday, although he was very close at times, with a good few putts agonisingly close. He had a bogey five on the 4th and as the leadership changed hands and the top players pulled away from him, he didn't get the run of birdies that he needed
Instead a birdie and bogey on the back nine saw him finish the day on one over par and on -13 overall as England's Justin Rose continued his super form with another win.
Despite the closing round, it was arguably Lowry's best performance of the season as he performed very well in a high pressure situation. He will now be hoping to finish the season with a bang and his main aim now is to shoot back up the world rankings. Lowry has slipped to 93rd place and he needs to get back into the top fifty and earn in place in all of next season's big tournaments.

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