Lowry: “I’m not struggling on the greens, I’m sick of people talking about it”

VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND - MAY 26:  Thomas Pieters of Belgium tees off on the 3rd hole during day two of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 26, 2017 in Virginia Water, England.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND – MAY 26:  Thomas Pieters of Belgium tees off on the 3rd hole during day two of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 26, 2017 in Virginia Water, England.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry wants to hear no more talk about his putting and you can see why.

In the games of ifs and buts, his second round 74 might have been a few better had he not be “robbed” on the greens here or there and finished the day five behind Thomas Pieters, Scott Jamieson and Francesco Molinari.

Waiting for his streak to come is a test of patience and if he were in the mood to quote putting statistics he could pick out plenty of positives from the PGA Tour this year as there are negative.

“I’m not struggling on the greens,” he said when it was suggested that all he needed was for things to click on the greens. 

“I’m sick of people talking about it and I’m sick of listening to it to be honest. I’ve worked my nuts off all year, and I finally turned around the last few weeks and I’m still listening to people talk about it.

“I’m happy where my game is and I’m looking forward to the summer.”

If anyone asks, Lowry can say he’s ranked No 1 from eight feet on the PGA Tour this year (he’s made 9 of 13). He’s 90th for putting overall and while he has had too many three-putts for his liking in America (19), he’s striking the ball very well.

He’s also in with a shout at Wentworth where he was joined in making the two-over (146) cut by Paul Dunne (71-75, 146) as Padraig Harrington (73-74) bogeyed the last to miss out by one stroke on 147 alongside Damien McGrane (74-73).

Darren Clarke missed on (150) while Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain, not 100 percent fit, finished on 159 (82-77).

With a good start on Saturday, Lowry feels he can make a move up the leaderboard.

“I don’t feel like I got as much out of today as I deserved,” he said at the end of a blustery day. “I wasn’t great off the tee, but it was a tough day. Obviously had a couple of putts there that was absolutely robbed. Still don’t know how they didn’t go in.

“But it was nice to birdie the last. Two-over is not a great score. But the golf course is playing how I would like it to play for a good challenge on the weekend.

“Yeah, I’m just happy that that’s over. It was tough. It was so windy and it was hard to club. It was hard to get the ball pin-high. It was one of those days, it was really, really tough.”

Looking at hs position, he added: “I’m on two-under now and five behind and hopefully get out a couple hours before the leaders tomorrow and post a few birdies on the board and see where that takes me.”

Pieters fired a second round 69 to share the halfway lead with Scotland’s Jamieson and Italian Molinari.

“Today was much less stressful than yesterday,” said Pieters. “I hit a lot more greens today. I didn’t make as many putts as yesterday but that’s always going to happen. So I’m quite happy about today.”

Europe’s top points scorer on his debut at last year’s Ryder Cup, Pieters was joined at the summit by Jamieson, who recovered from dropping three shots in his opening three holes to post seven birdies in his round of 70. 

Former Ryder Cup player Molinari, who has four top ten finishes at Wentworth, then made it a three-way share on seven under par when he birdied the two closing par fives for a round of 70.

“I didn’t play amazingly well but I made some good up-and-downs to keep the round going,” said Molinari. “And then obviously I finished very well on 17 and 18.

“I’ve been in position before here but hopefully the ending will be different.”

The trio are one shot clear of Germany’s Max Kieffer who climbed the leaderboard after picking up five shots in four holes from the 11th in his round of 68.

The chasing pack is an impressive one, with Open Champion Henrik Stenson (71) Ryder Cup legend Lee Westwood (69), 2015 BMW PGA Champion Byeong Hun An (69) and seven-time European Tour winner Branden Grace (71) sharing fifth place on five under par, just two shots back.

A crowd of 24, 716 people – the second largest Friday crowd in the event’s history – watched the second round of action at the prestigious Surrey venue.

Thomas Pieters

“I hit a lot more greens today. Didn’t make as many putts as yesterday but that’s always going to happen. So I’m quite happy about today.

“You do need to think about kind of not linksy but you need to hit it in front of the flags sometimes and let it release and even with a wedge you have to play it for a couple bounces and then check. I love this type of golf where you have to think a lot more, other than just start throwing darts at the flag.

“Finding fairways – I’ve been struggling a bit with that – only hitting 50 per cent of the fairways and I think I’ve done really well these last two days.

“It’s a bit gusty at times, like Augusta, I like it, that’s why. On ten for example, it’s hard to pull a club because you’re in the corner and you know the wind such there and you don’t feel it. It gets quite tricky.

Francesco Molinari

“I’ve been in this position before, I just need to keep doing what I did the last few days. The short game has been really sharp, which is important, especially on days like today. So again, I just need to rest and get the energy back and do the same for another couple of days.

“It was tricky. It was a lot windier than yesterday and it was gusting, so it was hard to get the clubs right. It’s a tough, tough course in these conditions. It’s playing firm and you have to be in the fairways, otherwise you’re really struggling.

“Yeah, I’m quite pleased with the game. I didn’t play amazingly well but I made some good up-and-downs to keep the round going and then obviously finished very well on 17 and 18.

Scott Jamieson

“It wasn’t a great start. They are tough holes. It’s a tough stretch of the golf course, the first three holes, especially the way the wind was blowing today. The last thing you need to do in that situation is panic. Just try and take a wee minute to yourself and start again.

“Yeah, the putter warmed up. Hit a couple of nice shots and that was certainly a nice way to turn it around. They (the greens) are just firm. It’s difficult to hit it close. So you’ve got to be on the fairway, if you want hit it close to the hole.

“It’s obviously a massive tournament. That’s why we play, so if I can just keep doing what I’ve been doing the first two days and hopefully I’m in a good place.

Max Kieffer

“I think it does suit my eye, the course. Obviously the more you play, the more experience you get. I always liked the golf course – I never really disliked it – so it’s just a matter of time, staying patient, and hopefully get some good results in this nice championship here.

“Once we got to the back nine the wind started to pick up. The greens got a bit firmer. It makes it very tricky around here because especially the flags are consistent here but out there, you feel like the wind is coming from every direction and you’ve just got to trust where you think it’s coming from.

Round Two Scores

Detailed scores

137 S Jamieson (Sco) 67 70, T Pieters (Bel) 68 69, F Molinari (Ita) 67 70, 

138 M Kieffer (Ger) 70 68, 

139 H Stenson (Swe) 68 71, J Carlsson (Swe) 66 73, B An (Kor) 70 69, L Westwood (Eng) 70 69, B Grace (RSA) 68 71, 

140 G Storm (Eng) 68 72, J Van Zyl (RSA) 71 69, A Dodt (Aus) 70 70, O Fisher (Eng) 70 70, 

141 A Johnston (Eng) 73 68, B Wiesberger (Aut) 71 70, T Hatton (Eng) 69 72, N Bertasio (Ita) 68 73, R Fisher (Eng) 68 73, 

142 J Luiten (Ned) 71 71, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 67 75, S Kjeldsen (Den) 71 71, Shane Lowry (Irl) 68 74, 

143 R Ramsay (Sco) 69 74, V Dubuisson (Fra) 73 70, P Hanson (Swe) 70 73, J Smith (Eng) 72 71, A Noren (Swe) 68 75, L Donald (Eng) 75 68, P Uihlein (USA) 74 69, B Hebert (Fra) 71 72, 

144 T Jaidee (Tha) 72 72, N Fasth (Swe) 71 73, E Els (RSA) 71 73, M Manassero (Ita) 73 71, B Dredge (Wal) 68 76, D Howell (Eng) 71 73, 

145 D Horsey (Eng) 71 74, S Chawrasia (Ind) 73 72, G Bourdy (Fra) 72 73, J Campillo (Esp) 72 73, D Burmester (RSA) 69 76, I Poulter (Eng) 76 69, F Fritsch (Ger) 70 75, B Ritthammer (Ger) 71 74, P Larrazábal (Esp) 71 74, D Brooks (Eng) 70 75, A Wall (Eng) 73 72, D Willett (Eng) 72 73, H Tanihara (Jpn) 76 69, A Björk (Swe) 70 75, L Haotong (Chn) 69 76, 

146 T Bjørn (Den) 75 71, S Gros (Fra) 71 75, S Hend (Aus) 71 75, D Drysdale (Sco) 75 71, M Ilonen (Fin) 70 76, P Peterson (USA) 74 72, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 73 73, Paul Dunne (Irl) 71 75, C Wood (Eng) 72 74, N Colsaerts (Bel) 71 75, R Wattel (Fra) 73 73, A Levy (Fra) 71 75, J Rose (Eng) 72 74, S Gallacher (Sco) 73 73, A Sullivan (Eng) 71 75, 

CUT

147 R Knox (Sco) 73 74, R Jacquelin (Fra) 72 75, P Lawrie (Sco) 72 75, M Fraser (Aus) 71 76, D Lipsky (USA) 73 74, F Aguilar (Chi) 74 73, A Quiros (Esp) 74 73, R Sterne (RSA) 69 78, M Warren (Sco) 75 72, R Karlberg (Swe) 71 76, L Jensen (Den) 73 74, D Fichardt (RSA) 74 73, J Morrison (Eng) 73 74, Padraig Harrington (Irl) 73 74, Damien McGrane (Irl) 74 73, 

148 C Pigem (Esp) 74 74, J Donaldson (Wal) 73 75, T Immelman (RSA) 76 72, P Waring (Eng) 73 75, W Ormsby (Aus) 74 74, E De La Riva (Esp) 69 79, T Olesen (Den) 78 70, R Rock (Eng) 75 73, J Scrivener (Aus) 75 73, 

149 T Fleetwood (Eng) 72 77, G Stal (Fra) 78 71, P Edberg (Swe) 76 73, J Wang (Kor) 70 79, R Langasque (Fra) 76 73, M Kaymer (Ger) 76 73, A Otaegui (Esp) 73 76, N Elvira (Esp) 75 74, G Coetzee (RSA) 73 76, C Hanson (Eng) 77 72, 

150 Darren Clarke (Nir) 73 77, R Karlsson (Swe) 76 74, R Bland (Eng) 76 74, P Angles (Esp) 75 75, B Stone (RSA) 76 74, T Aiken (RSA) 73 77, S Lee (Kor) 73 77, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 75 75, M Carlsson (Swe) 77 73, M Pavon (Fra) 74 76, J Walters (RSA) 76 74, R Fox (Nzl) 74 76, G Havret (Fra) 73 77, A Knappe (Ger) 71 79, M Korhonen (Fin) 75 75, 

151 M Southgate (Eng) 74 77, R Gouveia (Por) 74 77, G Hutcheon (Sco) 75 76, F Zanotti (Par) 75 76, P Streeter (Eng) 77 74, D Frittelli (RSA) 77 74, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 75 76, C Gane (Eng) 76 75, H Porteous (RSA) 76 75, K Broberg (Swe) 75 76, E Molinari (Ita) 77 74, L Slattery (Eng) 73 78, 

152 Z Lombard (RSA) 76 76, A Cañizares (Esp) 78 74, P Hendriksen (Eng) 78 74, 

153 S Dyson (Eng) 74 79, M Wallace (Eng) 76 77, J Lagergren (Swe) 75 78, M Cort (Eng) 73 80, M Siem (Ger) 74 79, 

154 G Fox (Sco) 75 79, C Paisley (Eng) 79 75, R Paratore (Ita) 75 79, 

155 D Im (USA) 79 76, J Quesne (Fra) 77 78, P Archer (Eng) 76 79, L Bjerregaard (Den) 73 82, S Brazel (Aus) 80 75, 

156 S Walker (Eng) 81 75, 

157 H Otto (RSA) 76 81, 

159 Neil O’Briain (Irl) 82 77, 

161 R Coles (Eng) 77 84, 

** B Rumford (Aus) 83 WD, C Shinkwin (Eng) 78 DQ, N Holman (Aus) RT 0,  

from News – Irish Golf Desk http://ift.tt/2r8nRmc

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