Shane Lowry shakes off beach expedition to stay in touch at Kiawah Island

Open champion Shane Lowry was delighted that an impromptu trip to the beach failed to derail his bid for a second major title in the US PGA Championship.

Lowry followed an opening 73 at Kiawah Island with a second round of 71 which included a brilliant par on the 600-yard 16th following a wild drive onto the shoreline.

“I’m really, really happy it’s over. Long day, man,” Lowry said after posting a halfway total of level par to trail clubhouse leader Phil Mickelson by five shots.

“A quick turnaround last night didn’t really help. I was goosed out there today, honestly. Finished just about 8:00 last night and you’re on the tee at 8:45 this morning. You’re up at 4:00 in the morning.

“I played great yesterday and didn’t hole anything. Felt like I should have shot a couple under yesterday. Today didn’t play as good but, apart from a little trip to the beach, I didn’t really hit many bad shots.”

Speaking about the 16th, Lowry added: “It’s funny, I seen a picture of Rory (McIlroy) out there in the practice rounds, and I was trying to figure out where it was.

“I got very lucky there, because where I hit my provisional wasn’t very good either. It could have been anything. I got lucky and managed to make an unbelievable par.”

Lowry overcame difficult conditions to win the Open at Royal Portrush in 2019 and admitted he enjoys the challenge – on occasion.

“I enjoy golf like this a couple of weeks a year,” Lowry added. “I’m trying to make the most of it this week. I feel like my game is in a good place. I feel like I played great yesterday. I feel like I scored great today. So kind of if I can put those two together over the weekend, who knows what could happen.

“I’ll probably be in the top 20 going into the weekend here at a major championship with a good chance to do well, so that’s kind of what I play for.

“And that’s why I’m out there grinding my ass off on days like today, and that’s the kind of buzz I get from it.”