Shane Lowry cut a frustrated figure as three bogeys in his final 10 holes left him seven strokes behind leader Scottie Scheffler as he went two under his head into the final round of the Masters.
The Clara-man was two under through six holes and just four shots behind Scheffler as he navigated the lightning greens, but he would bogey the ninth and then make more shots on the 13th and 17th en route to a one-over drop 73.
While he still has a shot at becoming Ireland’s first Masters champion, the 2019 Open winner has never been the same after getting annoyed with his caddy on the 13th.
He bobbed up and down the sand to save on par, chipped near the birdie in the second par 5 second and briefly reduced the gap to the leader to four when he threw a 16-foot stride on the sixth made for a two to get a five – below average
While he came up short and not pacing on the ninth, he reeled on the par 10, 11 and 12 before his mood improved on the 510-yard 13. significantly somber, where he sarcastically complained about a poor layup yards from his caddy Brian “Bo” Martin and flew 43 feet over the pin with his 119-yard third, making one of the fastest putts on the course.
He inevitably made a three-putt for a bogey six, hitting his tripod poorly to lose seven strokes off pace.
He regrouped and paced for brilliant pars on the 14th and 16th, but was back chatting to his caddy as he bunkered his approach on the 17th and delivered another shot.
As for the rest of the Irish, Rory McIlroy endured the worst of the freezing and blustery early conditions and nearly conceded a loss in his eighth attempt to complete the career grand slam.
Ten shots behind Scheffler after two 73 seconds, it was a battle for the Holywood star from the moment he failed to escape from a fairway bunker on his first try en route to an opening bogey, then two good birdie- Chances next missed two holes.
McIlroy (32) would punch in a 36-foot for the day’s only two on the 240-yard fourth, but in four shifts and with two hand warmers, he’d follow a bogey on the sixth with a birdie on the seventh. Then recover from a bogey after airmailing on the 12th with birdie fours on the 13th and 15th.
A one-under 71 remains in ninth place with an over par and he admitted he is playing for his sixth top 10 finish in his last nine Masters.
“I played well, it’s just hard to go very deep out there,” McIlroy said. “Anything below average is a good result. It’s just stormy and there are no easy birdies.
“It’s been a tough couple of days and I’ve been persevering as best I can and it’s not really favorable conditions to go deep and try to get to the leaders so I’ve just got to persevere and do the best thing you can.”
On his plan for today, he added: “You just try to go out there and shoot as well as you can without being reckless and taking too many risks.
“I’ll try to go out and do that tomorrow. I think I went up a few places with that score today, so tomorrow I’ll try to move up a few more places and try to get a top 10 and keep going.”
If it was a slow, cold day for McIlroy, it was even slower and colder for Seamus Power, who carded a third straight year in his first major, two over 74 to sit just inside the top 40 with six over.
The West Waterford man started brightly, almost knocking the pin out of the hole at first only to scoot across the green, then hit the pin with his 252-yard approach to the second par-5 but bounced 50 feet to the right a three off putt was almost inevitable as the ridge protected the path to the hole.
That he had to wait until the 18th to record his lone birdie of the day with a chip from 11 yards said it all about the testing conditions.
“It’s just hard to birdie out here,” said Power, who bogeyed ninth, 12th and 15th before catching a final three-pointer. “I hit the pin on the second shot today and still couldn’t make a birdie.”
To put things in perspective, he added: “I’m playing my first Masters so no matter what, have a good week. It’s one of those courses that are a blast to play at.
“You have so many fun shots to play here, and tomorrow I’ll probably hit every type of shot I have in my wardrobe. So it’s fun and hopefully I can make some putts.”
As for Tiger Woods, the five-time champion suffered from his back as he notched three birdies, five bogeys and two double-bogeys in a career-high 78 at the Augusta National.
He had a four-putt on the fifth and another four three-putts in a 36-putt round to slip to 41st place with seven-overs.
“I felt like I didn’t hit it really badly, but I had four three-putts and one four-putt,” Woods said. “I mean, it’s like I hit a thousand putts out on the greens today. Obviously it affected the score. They take those away and I have a normal two putts, I even made par for the day. I did what I had to do to hit the ball, but I did the exact opposite on the greens.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/us-masters/shane-lowrys-masters-title-challenge-fails-to-ignite-on-frustrating-day-in-augusta-41538472.html Shane Lowry’s Masters title challenge fails to ignite on a frustrating day in Augusta