Home hero Shane Lowry shares The Open lead at halfway

The home fans went nuts when he won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009, but that would be tame in comparison. You’ll hear the roar from across the Irish Sea, in fact, if Shane Lowry can keep this going.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 10:30 pm
Shane Lowry on the 12th tee
Shane Lowry on the 12th tee

The 32-year-old shares the lead at the halfway stage in the 148th Open Championship. Twenty years after Paul Lawrie won the Claret Jug on home soil, Lowry has given himself a chance to do the trick as well at Royal Portrush.

After opening with two 67s, the man from Clara in County Offaly is tied for top spot on eight-under-par with American JB Holmes.

Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood sit one back, closely followed by another English player, Justin Rose, as well as Australian Cameron Smith and South African Justin Harding.

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“Yeah, it’s nice,” he admitted Lowry, who is coached by former Turnhouse member Neil Manchip, of his position heading into the final 36 holes in the tournament’s return here after a gap of 68 years.

“If they had offered it to me at the start of the week, I would have taken it. I’m really happy to be where I am.

“I really, really enjoyed today. There’s not too many days like that on the golf course. It’s hard to describe. Hopefully more of the same tomorrow. And see where it leaves me.”

Winning here would see him join Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke as Irish major winners over the past decade or so.

“You can’t help but smile, you can’t help but laugh how it is,” he added of the reception he’s getting from the home fans in a sell-out crowd.

“There’s no point trying to shy away from it. It’s an incredible feeling getting applauded on every green, every tee box.”