McGinley – Lowry will be back
Paul McGinley sees great things ahead for Shane Lowry, despite the 22-year-old slumping to a 78 in Kent on Thursday.
Paul McGinley can see great things ahead for Irish Open Shane Lowry sensation – despite the 22-year-old slumping to a 78 in his first professional round in Kent on Thursday.
Two weeks ago Lowry changed his life by becoming only the third amateur to win a European Tour event – and the first ever to do it on debut.
He will tee off in the second round at the European Open at the London Club in Kent this morning in joint 147th place of the 156 starters and needing a near-miracle just to survive the cut.
But playing partner McGinley, himself two under par overnight and five behind Dane Anders Hansen, has no worries about Lowry’s future.
“He will have better days,” said the Ryder Cup hero. “He is a class player – I don’t see any weaknesses.
“He has propelled himself into a different stratosphere and it was always going to be difficult. He was nervous, but it would have been difficult for anybody and he battled well.
“He’s a good kid, he’s a powerful hitter, has a good short game and things will calm down now.”
Lowry said that McGinley had even reminded him that at County Louth two weeks ago it was a second round 62 – the joint lowest round ever by an amateur on the European Tour – that catapulted him into the spotlight.
“Paul was great to play with and he said ‘Another 62 tomorrow and you’ll be okay!’
“I didn’t feel myself, to be honest. I felt a bit flat and I’m glad to have that first round over.
“It’s the first of many hopefully and there will be good days and bad days. I’m not under pressure to make my card (his win earned him an exemption until the end of 2011), but I still have the pressure to try to do as well as I can.
“I’m not trying to make excuses, but before I practised on Tuesday I’d had 12 holes since the Irish Open.”
Hansen, twice a winner of the Tour’s flagship PGA Championship at Wentworth, led by one overnight from England’s Sam Little, Indian Jyoti Randhawa, South African Thomas Aiken and Peter Hanson, the Swede who won a US Open place on Monday by holing-in-one at the second hole of a play-off in the European qualifying tournament at Walton Heath.
Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia opened with 69s – Garcia’s after he started with a double bogey – Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie shot 70, John Daly a 71 and Masters champion Angel Cabrera a 72.
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