Shane Lowry determined to win another major as Open gets under way

By Sports Desk July 19, 2023

Former Open champion Shane Lowry has expressed his determination to double his major tally and join the list of Irish winners at Royal Liverpool.

Rory McIlroy won the Open the last time it was staged in Hoylake in 2014, while Fred Daly lifted the Claret Jug at the same venue in 1947 and Joe Carr claimed the Amateur Championship in 1953.

Lowry’s own Open triumph came on home soil at Royal Portrush in 2019 and the 36-year-old has been quietly rounding into form with top-20 finishes in his last three starts.

“I really struggled on the greens at the start of the year and then around the end of May I turned the corner and started to see a few going in again,” Lowry told the PA news agency.

“In the last few tournaments I’ve had days where I’ve felt really good on the greens. It’s not a nice place to be when you’re not holing any so it has been very encouraging.”

Lowry carded a closing 65 at Hoylake in 2014 to register his first top 10 in a major and contended in the 2021 US PGA Championshp and last year’s Masters.

“Since Portrush I feel like my major performances have been pretty good,” he added.

“I’ve given myself a couple of half chances here and there and I’ve had some nice finishes. I love the big weeks, it’s what I play the game for. It’s what gets me going and I get very excited going into major weeks.”

Is there anything new for 2023?

The 17th is a brand new par three which features an “infinity green” that offers views of the Dee Estuary, but which is protected by run-off areas and deep bunkers which could lead to some high scores. The creation of the hole has also allowed for a re-routing of the closing stretch to include two par fives over 600 yards and the 136-yard 17th.

Key tee times

0635 – Matthew Jordan, Richie Ramsay, Branden Grace.
0947 – Tommy Fleetwood, Scottie Scheffler, Adam Scott.
0958 – Cameron Smith, Wyndham Clark, Xander Schauffele.
1459 – Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose.
1616 – Hurly Long, Seungsu Han, Marco Penge.

Weather forecast

Mostly sunny with a small chance of the odd light morning shower. Dry with prolonged sunshine from midday. Moderate west to northwesterly winds with gusts of 15-20mph from late morning.

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    McIlroy, carded four birdies and three bogeys in his lowest opening round since 2018, but ended the day five shots behind playing partner Scottie Scheffler and six adrift of clubhouse leader Bryson DeChambeau.

    “It’s satisfying in one sense because it’s a decent start compared to the way I’ve played here recently, but I felt like it could have been two or three better,” McIlroy, who is making his 10th attempt to win a green jacket and complete the career grand slam, said.

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    “Missed a shortish one on 16 and then the bogey on 17. But overall still not a bad score, and obviously a lot of golf left to play.

    “I’m definitely not out of the tournament and not chasing anything tomorrow. I’m playing with Scottie so can keep an eye on what he’s doing and I’m looking forward to getting back out there.

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  • Masters day one: Tiger Woods faces daunting 23 holes on Friday Masters day one: Tiger Woods faces daunting 23 holes on Friday

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    Shot of the day

    Scottie Scheffler holed out from a bunker on the 12th for his third birdie in a flawless 66.

    Statistic of the day

    Top statistician Justin Ray highlights the tough task facing anyone carding one under par or worse in round one.

    Quote of the day

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    Hardest hole

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    Easiest hole

    The par-five eighth played downwind and yielded three eagles, 50 birdies and just three bogeys for a scoring average of 4.404.

    Tee times

    The first round will resume at 0750 local time (1250BST), with the second round getting under way at 0800.

    Weather forecast

    Slightly cooler and less humid conditions return Friday with mostly sunny skies and highs in the low 70s. It will continue to be windy out of the west at 15-20mph, with gusts up to 30mph throughout the day. After a cool start on Saturday morning, temperatures will rebound nicely this weekend with highs in the upper 70s Saturday and low to mid 80s on Sunday with plentiful sunshine.

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