Lowry matches low major round with 62 as Schauffele leads PGA

golf18 May 2024 22:10| © AFP

Shane Lowry matched the lowest round in major golf history on Saturday, shooting a nine-under par 62 in the third round of the PGA Championship and leaping into a share of second at Valhalla.

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The 37-year-old Irishman tied the mark achieved four prior times, most recently in Thursday's first round by American Xander Schauffele, who had a two-stroke lead over Lowry and Collin Morikawa at 15-under par through 14 holes.

Lowry's bogey-free round left the 2019 British Open champion, who began the day eight shots adrift, on 13-under par 200 for 54 holes and in the hunt for a second major title.

"I'm going to have to keep going," Lowry said. "A lot of guys are playing great golf. The course is gettable. And like you see today somebody can come from way behind.

"I'm going to go out tomorrow and see if can get that trophy."

Other 62s have been made by Schauffele and American Rickie Fowler in the first round at last year's US Open and the 2017 British Open by South African Branden Grace.

Lowry birdied eight of the first 14 holes at Valhalla to briefly share the lead, then sank birdie putts of 37 feet at 13 and 32 feet at the par-3 14th to set up his dramatic closing holes.

"I felt like I was just going to keep making birdies," Lowry said. "When I holed that putt on 14, I thought if I can get to 18 on 8-under I could maybe wiggle one in. I knew where I was."

He fired 29 on the front nine with birdies on six of the first nine holes – four of those between 13 and 19 feet.

"I got off to a great start," Lowry said, saying it helped to have European Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose in his group. "We fed on each other but I just kept rolling them in."

When Lowry sank a birdie putt from just beyond six feet at the par-4 17th, there was a buzz around the course as he walked to the par-5 finishing hole on a course softened and receptive after rain earlier this week.

At 18, Lowry's tee shot found the left rough and his second shot landed in the left rough, but his third drew wild applause, setting him up for a birdie putt from just inside 12 feet.

Lowry's bid to make the first 61 in major championship history missed but he tapped in for 62 and a share of history.

"It has been a long time since I've seen this so I'm not going to complain," Lowry said.


Third-ranked Schauffele, seeking his first major title, sank a birdie putt from just inside four feet at the par-5 seventh hole – his first birdie in 15 holes – and added others from just outside 21 feet at the par-5 10th and on the par-3 14th to pad his lead.

Tokyo Olympic champion Schauffele has not won any event since the 2022 Scottish Open, having had 19 top-10 PGA Tour finishes in the nearly two years since.

Two-time major winner Morikawa missed a par putt from just outside four feet to bogey the second but answered with a 30-foot chip-in birdie at the par-3 third, sank a birdie putt from just inside 14 feet and birdied the 10th as well to stay on Schauffele's heels.

Sharing fourth on 12-under were England's 43-year-old Rose and American Sahith Theegala.

Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, birdied five of the first seven holes and answered a bogey at nine with birdies at 13, 15 and 28 to shoot 64.

A contender who faded was world No 1 Scottie Scheffler, who a day after being arrested was 6-under and eight off the pace after 14 holes.

Scheffler, 27, faces charges of felony assault of a police officer, criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.

He stumbled early with a double bogey at the par-5 second and bogeys at three and four. Scheffler birdied the fifth but after each of three later birdies he made a bogey on the next hole.

Jordan Spieth, needing a victory to complete a career Grand Slam, birdied three of the last four holes to shoot 67 and stand on eight-under 205.