Shane Lowry has been hailed as an inspiration as he challenges for first place at the Masters.
owry made it to second place, hitting four under par 68s at the Augusta National.
The former British Open champion started the day six shots down from the first-round lead. He then went on to hit his best-ever round at Augusta with a four-under par 68 to hit three-under midway through the first Major of the year.
Ray Molloy, a director at Esker Hills, said there was great excitement at the club, which was being celebrated for giving Lowry his start in golf.
“I just hope he’s okay. We thought we couldn’t top the 2019 Open, but it just would. It’s the biggest competition ever and to have one of your own is just great,” he said.
“He only wandered the clubhouse 14 years ago and now he’s ahead of Tiger Woods, it’s just a fabulous story.
“We’re a small club so a very united club but we’re very busy today and that’s great news for Shane. When he comes into the clubhouse, he’s just one of us.”
“You get what you see and you see what you get with Shane.”
Tullamore Councilor Danny Owens said Lowry has achieved “unimaginable” success in his short career.
“He’s fantastic, he’s an inspiration to all of us in Offaly and Ireland,” he said.
“He left a great legacy for himself and he’s only 35 years old so he’ll be playing golf for a long time. But he’s already won major tournaments around the world, so he’s an inspiration to all young people on how he treats himself.”
“The fact that he’s second at the halfway point in the competition says a lot and I hope he can go ahead and push for the title. But people would be very happy if he was somewhere in the top 10 or top 20.”
Lowry will start the weekend with a four-way share in second place and five shots off world number one Scottie Scheffler.
Three other players share second place with Lowry, including former champions Charl Schwarzel and Hideki Matsuyama, and overnight leader Sungjae Im.
The Offaly native is making his seventh Masters at Augusta National this week, where he previously missed the cut three times and last year finished 21st, a career-best finish.
“I would say it’s one of the best rounds I’ve ever played,” Lowry told Sky Sports after his round.
“I’m in a great position. You will need everything to go your way to stand there on Sunday and get a green jacket.”
“I’m where I want to be. I’m where I need to be It’s going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to it.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/supporters-behind-inspiration-shane-lowry-as-he-challenges-top-spot-at-the-masters-41536899.html Supporter behind “Inspiration” Shane Lowry challenging for first place at the Masters