It’s a crucial time of the season for Ireland’s golfers on Saturday in Canada.
The top 125 players in the FexEx Cup rankings retain their PGA Tour card for next season, and with only three events left after this weekend until the FedEx Cup layoffs begin, it’s now a matter of urgency for players to secure their place on the world’s biggest tour.
After a -1 round to begin with at the RBC Canadian Open, Shane Lowry shot a second round 67 to jump more than 55 places for a share of as high as 12th place after two days, eventually placing 23rd. This saw him move to 161st in the projected standings and within touching distance, though the Offaly man fell behind the field in his third round.
The fine scoring conditions has seen much of the field shoot under par, but Lowry’s round took a turn for the worse.
A birdie on the par five second hole briefly got him to -8, but a trail of bogeys on holes 4, 7 and 8 dropped him back to -5 overall. He recovered on the ninth after a fine approach to within nine feet of the hole, but through 12 holes he was+1 for his round, dropping 29 places to 52nd.
He rebounded thereafter, with an eagle on the par 5 16th sandwiched by birdies on 13, 15 and the last for a -11 total, into the top 12 and 157th in the FedEx Cup.
Graeme McDowell’s tournament is on a similar trajectory.
The 2010 U.S. Open champion is piecing his game back together this year, and that progress continued in earnest today. A blemish free round of 67 sees him go into the top 15, leaping 30 places in the process.
Birdies on holes 2 and 6 heralded a solid start, and further success on holes 10, 15 and 16 saw him come back in 34 for a -5 round which leaves him at -10 overall, currently five shots off leader Dustin Johnson.
Now projected at 143 in the FedEx standings, McDowell stands a good chance at qualifying for the lucrative playoffs.
Waterford’s Seamus Power missed the cut after two rounds.