British Open 2019: Shane Lowry blitzes Royal Portrush for course-record 63, leads by four
Shane Lowry entered Saturday tied for the Open Championship lead. He ended the day with the field left in his dust and just 18 solid holes away from his first major championship.
The 32-year-old Irishman shot a course-record eight-under 63 at Royal Portrush on Saturday, and at 16 under he’s four ahead of the next-closest competitor (Tommy Fleetwood) and six ahead J.B. Holmes, who is alone in third.
Brooks Koepka (67) and Justin Rose (68) are tied for fourth at nine under, but they are still seven back and will need some help, which could come in the form of the heavy rain and strong winds predicted. Tee times have already been moved up.
On Saturday, Lowry, who won an amateur event on this course years ago, made birdies on 3 and 5 before adding his third of the day on the 9th, turning in three under. On the back nine he sprinted away from his playing partner, J.B Holmes, and the rest of the field. Birdies on 10, 12, 15, 16 and 17 were good for a five-under 30 coming in. He just missed a birdie putt on the 18th that would have tied Branden Grace’s major-record of 62, which he shot in the third round of The Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017.
Lowry, who grew up about four hours away in the Republic of Ireland, had the fans on his side all round, and they were still singing and cheering long after he finished on Saturday.
“We might never have a day like this on the golf course again, so let’s enjoy this new half hour,” Lowry told his caddie as they walked off the 17th green.
The only other time Lowry held a four-stroke lead through 54 holes of a major was at the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont. Lowry shot 76 and tied for second, handing Dustin Johnson his first major title.