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Shane Lowry moved himself firmly into contention on Saturday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with a five-under-par third round putting him just one stroke back of leader Scott Jamieson. However, that one-shot margin could have been more due to a mistake playing the 18th.
The final hole at Yas Links, which is a par 5 weighing in at over 600 yards, saw the wind blowing straight into the players' faces. This meant even the longest hitters would be struggling to reach the green in two. Therefore, a lay-up was the order of the day for the world's elite.
After a solid drive down the middle, Lowry was faced with his second shot and, after speaking to his caddie, Brian 'Bo' Martin, the pair agreed on a target, a HSBC board, which he would aim at to give himself the best chance for birdie. Unfortunately, there was a slight misunderstanding, with Lowry going for the wrong HSBC board...
"We were aiming at the HSBC sign, but this one was 30 yards right of the one I was looking at", joked Lowry. After striking his iron, the shot came well up short, coming to rest in the shrubbery. Lowry's reaction wasn't the happiest, understandably, with the Irishman slamming his club into the ground.
"It's a new course and I thought I had hit a perfect shot and I couldn't believe that it came down where it did", said Lowry. "It was a bad mistake to make because we shouldn't be doing it in that situation, but I got very lucky. I had a really good lie in the plants and I made a really nice two-putt afterwards.
"It could have been a completely different story, in which case I'm not sure I would be standing here; I'd probably be sat in the locker room sulking. But I am happy with the way I played overall. I'm really happy with how the week is going and I am really looking forward to tomorrow."
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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