CM – Slow start for Shane Lowry as Padraig Harrington battles the Irish Open at Mount Juliet

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Brian Keogh

Shane Lowry will need a low round tomorrow to get back on the hunt after scoring a two-way on a low-scoring morning at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open on sun-drenched Mount Juliet. Under-70 opened.

The Open Champion made four birdies and two bogeys to share 36th place in the clubhouse, leaving him six strokes behind the early leader, Australian Lucas Herbert. </ The 25-year-old former Dubai Desert Classic winner fired nine birdies in an 8 under par 64, leading two shots from Scotland's Grant Forrest and three shots from a six-man pursuer that included Ryder Cup runner-up Martin Kaymer.

The German made seven birdies in a five-under-67 alongside Lowry and Clandeboyes Jonathan Caldwell, who, like Ryder Cup skipper Pádraig Harrington, fought with a four-over-76.

« It’s what it is, « said Lowry, who only played the par-five at level-par and lost a ball off the tee at the par-five before missing from seven feet for par.

 » I’ll move on now and try to get a low score tomorrow and get myself into the race for the weekend.

“I lost the ball on the fifth. We waited on the tee and chatted and I lost concentration, which I was really disappointed with because I don’t like doing that and giving away blows. I’ll go ahead and try to shoot as low as possible for the next three days. ”

Harrington was way off pace with a 76 when he struggled with several parts of his game and putted poorly. He ran seven bogeys against just three birdies in ideal, windless conditions at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Thomastown venue in Co Kilkenny.

« Didn’t go the way I wanted, » said Harrington. “Hit a lot of pure shots. Get some bad shots too. Had a bit of a fight on the greens. Yeah, it wasn’t what I expected. Tuesday and Wednesday I almost curbed it. Sometimes you have high expectations and things can backfire. ”

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Herbert was happy to birdie five of his last seven holes for a 64, putting him two in front of Forrest and three in front of Kaymer, the Belgian duo Thomas Detry and Nicolas Colsaerts, the Englishman Andy Sullivan, the Danish Thorbjorn Olesen and the Spaniard Adri Arnaus stayed.

« Yes, it was a bit of a slow start, » said Herbert, who played in a two-man game with Laurie Canter. « Even the first eight holes felt a bit slow out there, just hitting the two-ball with Laurie, and we both felt like we could hit him pretty well and not do putts.

 » Me did a really long one at 18 for birdie and that started things and got things going. Could play the last nine holes really well. « 

He was pleased with the firm and fast conditions and added: » It’s always fun when you come out and play on firm, fast golf courses.

« Out Coming to America the rough isn’t as thick as it’s probably used to, but it’s definitely enough to interest you out there. ”

The youngest Scandinavian mixed champion Caldwell visited the water twice and triple bogey on the 18th to turn in three over, followed by a birdie from 40 feet on the second with a double bogey five after another visit to the water in the short third.

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