Lowry Leads Home Open Hopes At Royal Portrush

The Irishman shot four under on Thursday morning at Portrush

Lowry Leads Home Open Hopes At Royal Portrush

The Irishman shot four under on Thursday morning at Portrush

Lowry Leads Home Open Hopes At Royal Portrush

Shane Lowry took the early clubhouse lead on day one at the Open Championship after a four under par 67 at Royal Portrush.

The Irishman made five birdies and a solitary bogey to give the home fans hope of an Irish Champion Golfer of the Year.

It is Lowry's best ever first round in a Major and will leave him very near the top of the leaderboard come the end of the day.

"It's my best [opening] round [in a Major] by about 8 shots. That was nice," he said.

"It was nice to shoot a good score and hopefully I can go out and keep at it the next few days.

"I felt very unconfident on the first tee, I'm not going to lie.

"I was very happy it was downwind with only a 3-iron.

"I hit a good tee shot and from there on I was off and running, and hit some good shots from there and made some good decisions."

Lowry was T9th at Royal Liverpool in 2014 in what was his best Open finish.

His best Major finish came at Oakmont at the 2016 US Open where he was T2nd to Dustin Johnson.

One home player who didn't start as well as Shane Lowry was Northern Ireland's own Rory McIlroy who made a quadruple-bogey 8 on the 1st after hooking his tee shot out of bounds.

McIlroy then had to take a drop near the green and eventually missed from around 6ft for his triple.

"I feel for him, to be honest," Shane Lowry said of Rory McIlroy's nightmare start.

"What can you say? I don't know what the score is now. But obviously he's one of the best golfers in the world.

"He'll be alright."

Rory made two birdies to turn in +3 after playing his first three holes in five over.

The four-time Major winner dropped to +5 though after a four putt on the par-3 16th, aptly named Calamity.

Portrush's own Graeme McDowell fared better but had a very disappointing finish to his round.

G-Mac was three under after 14 holes and bogey-free before dropping shots at 15 and 17.

He then lost his tee shot on the 18th hole and ended up making a triple-bogey 7 to sign for a two over par 73.

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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x