Irish Open Update: Lowry happy with form but early birdie blitz not quite enough 

Lowry was up to minus-seven for the tournament at one point, just four shots off the tournament leader
Irish Open Update: Lowry happy with form but early birdie blitz not quite enough 

ON THE CHARGE: Shane Lowry of Ireland walks off the 18th green during day three of the Horizon Irish Open Golf Championship at Mount Juliet Golf Club in Thomastown, Kilkenny. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Shane Lowry reckons his chances of winning an Horizon Irish Open title on Sunday are somewhere between slim and none after a decent third-round 68 which looked far more promising halfway through.

Four-under par for his first ten holes - on the back of four late birdies to make the cut on Friday - Lowry was up to minus-seven for the tournament at that point, just four shots off the tournament leader, Jorge Campillo of Spain, and with eight holes still to play.

That was where the momentum stalled with five successive pars followed by a first bogey, at the par-four 16th. A fifth birdie, and a fourth at a par-five, followed on 17 for a four-under 68 that leaves him on seven-under through three rounds.

“I was pretty happy with the way I played today,” said the Offaly man who won this tournament as an amateur in 2009. “I would obviously like to have shot two or three better and I think after 10 I was thinking I could shoot seven-under but I never really got it going on the back nine.

“I was pretty happy going out there this morning. We got a lovely morning for it and it looks like the wind is actually picking up, which would be nice.

“I still think I am too far back on the golf course, it’s too scoreable, to have a chance but I played some nice golf and hopefully another round like that tomorrow and I will take a little bit of confidence going forward.” 

Antoine Rozner of France posted the morning’s best with a seven-under 65 to push up to ten-under and just one off the lead. And that despite a costly 75 in round two. He was joined in the clubhouse by England’s Dale Whitnell on ten-under after his 66.

Campillo and the rest of the overnight leaders got their day underway either side of one o’clock. Among them was Seamus Power who sat three shots off the front-runner on the back of successive 68s.

Padraig Harrington was another of the early starters. Like Lowry, he started on three-under after his own rescue act in making the cut, in his case with two birdies at 17 and 18, but the Dubliner never got going.

A one-under round leaves him on four-under for the tournament.

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