By Simon Lewis, Hoylake
Shane Lowry's name may have been high up on The Open Championship leaderboard after an excellent opening 68, but the Irishman was not taking anything for granted as he returned to Royal Liverpool for today's second round.
Lowry had negotiated the late afternoon breezes on Thursday that made for the toughest of the opening-round conditions on an otherwise benign day to finish two shots off the 18-hole lead held by friend and compatriot Rory McIlroy.
Yet the 27-year-old from Esker Hills in Offaly, who finished runner-up to McIlroy in May's European Tour flagship BMW PGA Championship was careful not to get too carried away with three more rounds of golf to go at Hoylake.
“Listen, there's a long way to yet, it's going to be a long three days so I just have to go back, have some dinner and go to bed, and see what happens tomorrow,” Lowry said after an impressive opening round that eventually picked up where he left off last Sunday when a closing 66 pushed him into a tie for fourth at the Scottish Open.
“I played lovely on the back nine, I struggled a bit going out. To be honest, that was kind of the way last weekend in Scotland.
“When I was one over after nine, I felt I was going to struggle to shoot a score. But played lovely on the back nine, hit some lovely iron shots, some great drives. Got a few birdies, which was nice.”
Just as Wentworth, home of the BMW PGA, has developed into one of Lowry's favourite courses, Hoylake this week is another that helps him feel right at home.
“I feel very comfortable in these surrounding which is straight away key, not going to feel that different than being at home playing with the lads, even though the grandstands are there.
“When I get onto the golf course, I see the shots, and that’s a big thing and it is going to make me more comfortable playing here. When you go to (last month's US Open venue) Pinehurst, it is a little bit different, and when you go to different majors, like that.
“This week, I feel very comfortable, I feel like my golf is where I want it. I fell mentally I am where I want to be. I just have to try and stick my head down the next few days and see what happens.”