Shane Lowry’s luck might be about to change after he produced a miraculous par save the last to sneak under the projected cut line in The Players.

Four under for the day and one-under for the tournament with just the dangerous 18th to play, a disaster was on the cards when he pulled his tee shot into the water.

But he was able to drop 180 yards from the pin and hit a stellar approach to nine inches before tapping in for par with his tenth single-putt of the day.

It was just what the doctor ordered for Lowry (31), who has struggled for consistency all season, missing three cuts and recording just one top-25 finish in ten PGA Tour starts.

Tied for 108th overnight after a disappointing opening 75, he raced out of the blocks with birdies at the first two holes, then followed a bogey at the fourth by knocking in an eight-footer for birdie at the seventh before playing the back nine in two under for a super 68.

After getting up and down from sand for par at the 10th and frustratingly three-putting the 560-yard 11th for par, he slotted home a 16 footer for a two at the 186-yard 13th, then made five footers for par at the 14th and 15th before knocking in a 16 footer for another birdie at the 16th.

Thanks to his brilliant four at the last, his one-under total left him eyeing a potential third-round pairing with Tiger Woods, but both men have work to do to get into contention.

South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel took advantage of a benign course set up, firing a six-under 66 to share the clubhouse lead on 10-under par with Patrick Cantlay, who shot 68.

They were one stroke clear of Chesson Hadley, who finished double-bogey bogey for a 69 with Jason Day (67), Steve Stricker (69) and Xander Schauffele (68) lurking just two strokes off the pace on eight-under.

Woods fared better than playing partners Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler who shot 73 and 71 respectively to miss the cut on eight-over and one-over But he was still frustrated to not to take advantage of some good ball-striking as he mixed two birdies with one bogey for a 71.

Believing he needs “something in the mid-60s” today to get back into contention, he said: “I was just a touch off. I had my chances and missed a few opportunities.

I didn’t quite swing it right today and didn’t have the ball flight. With the greens as soft as they are, I didn’t take advantage to shoot a good number.

“I didn’t get off to the greatest of starts — even par on back nine through the first three holes and those are three really easy holes.

“This course is demanding if you are just a touch off. Looking at the leaderboard with the cut one-under par right now, that’s frightening.

“It’s playing so warm out here, the ball is flying, and it’s playing pretty short.”

Revealing that the longest club he hit was a six-iron to the 18th, his ninth, he said: “I didn’t hit the ball close enough in the right section where I had those 10-12 footers, which I should do with nine iron on down.“

More on this topic

Rory McIlroy: ‘No amount of money will change my drive to become world's best player'Rory McIlroy: ‘No amount of money will change my drive to become world's best player'

Rory McIlroy's firm sees revenues rise to €16 millionRory McIlroy's firm sees revenues rise to €16 million

Rory McIlroy's 'perfect' approach: ‘Honestly, it’s possibly the best shot I’ve hit all year’Rory McIlroy's 'perfect' approach: ‘Honestly, it’s possibly the best shot I’ve hit all year’

European Tour chief Keith Pelley: ‘Every time Rory plays, we celebrate’European Tour chief Keith Pelley: ‘Every time Rory plays, we celebrate’


Lifestyle

Want to be cultured this Christmas? From TV to podcasts to books, Ed Power has the definite list of everything you missed this year - so you can curl up on the couch and catch upThe definite list of everything you missed this year

Artist Ciara Rodgers teaches older people how to rediscover their creativity and regain confidence, says Rowena WalshBrush with art: Discovering your creative side in later life

Furniture, paintings, jewellery and silver are on offer at James Adam in Dublin, writes Des O’SullivanAll set for home run: See what's on offer at the James Adam sale in Dublin

It’s not too late to hunt out a unique gift. Des O’Sullivan previews sales in the lead-up to the festive seasonA flurry of auctions in Munster sets the scene for Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner