Close sidebar

US PGA: Padraig Harrington rolls back the years as Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy struggle

mcilroy harrington lowry

Golf’s second Major of the year got underway on Thursday.

Padraig Harrington rolled back the years on Thursday at the US PGA to shoot under-par for his round, while Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy struggled at Kiawah Island Ocean Course.

It was a mixed day for the Irish as Canada’s Corey Conners took the lead on five-under, two shots cleared of a bunched leaderboard below him.

Harrington US PGA

US PGA Irish challenge – Padraig Harrington.

Harrington seemed to enjoy the links-style golf course and tough conditions, having won the World Cup at the course with Paul McGinley in 1997.

The three-time Major winner had won this event in 2008 and got himself to two-under heading into the final few holes of his round.

With a notorious tough finish in Thursday’s wind direction, the 49-year-old did well to get up and down from the bunker on 14 and 15 before a disappointing bogey on 16.

Nevertheless, it was a solid round of 71, and puts the European Ryder Cup captain in contention heading into Friday.

Shane Lowry US PGA

US PGA Irish challenge – Shane Lowry.

Lowry had a mixed round, catching some bad breaks coming in to shoot 73 and one-over for his round, leaving him still in contention, albeit a couple of more shots back than he would have liked.

He saved his worst luck for the Par 3 17th where his tee shot finished plugged in a sandy area. As the sandy areas are not officially bunkers this week, they do not have to be raked and can lead to player’s catching unfortunate lies.

A rules official was called in as the Offaly man figured out whether he could rake the bunker he wanted to hit his ball into.

Having initially said yes, after a long discussion the official decided he couldn’t and the 2019 Open champion went on to chip the ball into the bunker below, hoping not to be in a footprint.

His lie was fine and he hit his following shot on the green but about 30-feet from the hole, and would subsequently make a double bogey which put him on two-over.

The 34-year-old finished with an incredible birdie on 18 to keep himself within touching distance of the lead.

US PGA Irish challenge – Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy disappointed most out of the Irish challenge, shooting three-over for his round.

The four-time Major winner inexplicably hit his first tee shot on 10 into the water, opening with a bogey.

While he hung on throughout his round, it always seemed he was fighting his game and a level par first nine was followed by three-over coming in.

The former world number one bogeyed three of the four Par 5s to shoot a 75 and leave himself eight shots off the lead.

However, he is still six back from second place and cannot be ruled out heading into Friday.

Read More About: , , ,