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So close! Shane Lowry equals men’s major scoring record

He had a putt for golfing immortality in a men’s major, but Shane Lowry still produced a record-tying performance at the PGA Championship

 

They’re coming along like buses now. Two days after Xander Schauffele tied his own record at Valhalla, Shane Lowry produced a magical round to join the ever-growing 62 club.

The Irishman was nearly faultless in the third round of the PGA Championship – recording nine birdies and no bogeys.

In doing so, he joined Branden Grace, Rickie Fowler and, of course, Schauffele (twice) in posting 62 – the lowest scores at a men’s major.

But for a couple of rolls right on the final green, he would surely have written himself into golfing folklore.

Lowry was magnificent from the off – the flat-stick a wand in his hands it seemed putt after putt found the target.

Four successive birdies from the 2nd to the 5th got him off to a sprinting start, and more arrived at 7 and 9 to conclude a phenomenal opening 29.

Somehow rescuing par from a fried egg at 10 that could have been a momentum killer, a further trio of birdies at 13, 14 and 17 left Lowry standing on the par 5 18th knowing he just needed one more.

The 2019 Open champ found the right rough off the tee after cutting his drive a whisker too far, and he popped his layup into the left fringe.

Lowry, though, is legendary for his short game and a quality wedge left him not much more than 10 feet down the hill for history.

But it just slipped by the left hand side and, after more than 130,000 rounds in majors, we’re still waiting for our first 61.

“I enjoyed every minute of it, obviously,” he said following that fateful putt. “Probably the most disappointed anyone can ever be shooting 62. I knew what was at stake.

“Just didn’t hit the ball hard enough. Had it on a good read and 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.”

Shane Lowry 62

Shane Lowry 62: Can the Irishman win his second major title?

And that’s the thing. These heroics are now just part of a much bigger picture. He’ll have a real chance of winning his second major championship on Sunday.

“I thought if I could get to double digits, that was my plan,” he added. “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.”

He’s won at Portrush, and he’s lost majors too. Oakmont – with that four shot lead – springs quickly to mind. But all those memories add up. They matter.

“I go out and fight hard,” he said. “I’ve been in this position a few times before, learned from 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.”

Now have your say

Shane Lowry 62: What did you make of Shane Lowry’s brilliant round at the PGA Championship. Let me know by leaving me a comment on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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