124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

PGA Tour

Shane Lowry holes out 3(!) times after rallying to make Memorial cut


Shane Lowry hits a drive during the second round of the Memorial.

Icon Sportswire

DUBLIN, Ohio — When a guy makes only 41 feet of putts in a round of golf, he’s either hitting it close, missing greens and chipping up close or he’s not making anything. Shane Lowry went with Option 4 Saturday in the third round of the Memorial Tournament; he kept foregoing the use of his putter altogether.

Lowry posted what he termed an “interesting” four-under 68 at Muirfield Village Golf Club, but that was an understatement. The 2019 Open Championship winner holed out three times from off the green—and twice with full swings that resulted in eagles at the par-4 first and 14th holes.

Lowry holed out with a 7-iron from 194 yards from the left intermediate cut at the par-four first hole and later spun a gap wedge into the cup at the short par-4 14th from 118 yards. Ranked 33rd in the world, Lowry made more 2s on par 4s than he did on par 3s. (He birdied the par-3 fourth from 18 feet.)

“The first [hole] I pulled it; I'm not going to lie, I was trying to hit up the right side of the green and pulled it straight at the flag and had a nice bounce and went in,” said Lowry, 37, who has holed out, he estimated, six or seven times already this year. “At 14, that's exactly how I envisioned it. Pitching left the hole with a bit of the left-right spin, little cut pitching and spinning back down towards the hole. And obviously I got it on a good line and I went in.”

In between, Lowry also holed out from the front bunker for birdie at the par-5 seventh from 45 feet. He needed just 24 putts on the day to finish 54 holes in one-under 215.

None of Saturday’s heroics would have been possible had the Irishman not buckled down on his inward nine holes in Friday’s second round. A winner this season with Rory McIlroy in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans team event, Lowry was outside the cutline at five over par but played his final eight holes in two under to earn a weekend tee time.

“I've been struggling this week, and I thought I was very proud of myself the way I came back and made the cut yesterday,” he said, perhaps having already forgotten the record-tying third-round 62 he fired at Valhalla three weeks ago on the way to a T-6 finish at the PGA Championship. “You don’t really want to miss the cut, but in my head I was thinking I get some rest in, and I get to practice at Pinehurst [for the U.S. Open], and maybe it freed me up on the back nine. But I played great to shoot two under, make the cut and then get out here this morning and shoot a good score.

“So, yeah, I definitely got myself a lot of confidence,” he added before making a final point, saying with a huge grin, “and that's why there should be a cut in golf, by the way.”