Shane Lowry Equals Major Record To Surge Into PGA Championship Contention

shane lowry equals major record to surge into pga championship contention

Shane Lowry equalled the Valhalla course record

Shane Lowry came within millimetres of becoming the first golfer to shoot a 61 in men's Major championship history after a stunning third-round display at the PGA Championship.

Lowry started the day eight shots back of the lead but surged into contention after a bogey-free round which featured nine birdies. The Irishman needed a birdie at the par-5 18th for a place in golf's history books but saw his effort drift just left of the hole.

Regardless, the nine-under-par 62 matches the Valhalla course record set by Xander Schaffele earlier in the week, with the 2019 Open Champion joining the American as the only other person to shoot a 62 in PGA Championship history.

"I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every minute of it, obviously," Lowry reflected after the round. "But probably the most disappointed anyone can ever be shooting 62. I knew what was at stake. Just didn't hit the [final] putt hard enough.

"Had it on a good read and [it] just broke away from the hole. Look, I went out there with a job to do today, and my job was to try to get myself back in the tournament, and I definitely did that.

"My plan was to see if I could get to double digits. If I could shoot 65, I felt like I'd be there. I'd obviously need another at least 65 tomorrow if I did that. But that's what I wanted to do. But obviously a few better is nice."

Playing alongside European Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose, Lowry stormed out of the blocks with four birdies in his first five holes. A great two-putt birdie at the par-5 seventh, followed by a 17-footer at the ninth, saw the 37-year-old cover the front nine in just 29 shots - the joint-lowest front-nine score in PGA Championship history.

But he did not let the momentum stall after the turn, guiding a superb birdie putt down the slope on the par-4 13th before rolling in another at the very next hole from over 32 feet.

A superb approach into 17th produced his ninth birdie of the day and set up a look at a historic 61, but an errant tee shot up the par-5 last meant the three-time PGA Tour winner was forced to lay up and before seeing eventual birdie effort come up just left of the hole.

Having previously carded a round of 63 en route to winning the Open at Portrush, Lowry is now only the sixth player with multiple 63s or lower in men's Majors and hopes to use his previous experience to fuel a charge at a second Major triumph on Sunday.

"Obviously, you come here at the start of every major championship, and you know what it means to win one of them," he said.

"I've been fortunate to do it before, and to win one is pretty good, but to win multiple, you're kind of a bit of a different level. It would mean a lot to me tomorrow.

"There's a long way between now and that. We'll see what Xander and Collin [Morikawa] do on the back nine today first, and then we'll go out tomorrow, and I'll just go out and give my best. I go out and fight hard.

"I've been in this position a few times before, learned from the sort of Oakmont and tournaments like that and brought that into Portrush, and hopefully, I can bring some of that with me tomorrow and just give it everything."

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