Saturday, February 23, 2013
McDowell ends Lowry's Match Play
MARANA, Ariz. -- Shane Lowry's dream run in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship came to an end Saturday with a third-round 3 and 2 loss to Graeme McDowell.
After stunning Rory McIlroy in the first round and Carl Pettersson on Friday, the 25-year-old Irishman couldn't summon any of that magic against McDowell, who had a blistering start with five birdies in his first nine holes.
"I played nicely again, but I handed Graeme a couple of holes early," Lowry said. "And you can't do that against him."
Still, it was a wonderful coming-out party in the U.S. for Lowry, a two-time winner in Europe.
"I learned a lot about myself and my golf this week," he said. "I learned that I am able to compete at the highest level. What more can you ask? Obviously, I would have liked to have gone further in the tournament, but that's golf.
"My game hadn't been too good coming into this week. I played some of the best golf here that I have played in a while. "
Now Lowry will head to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for a Monday qualifier for the Honda Classic, which is slated to begin Thursday at PGA National. Even if he doesn't make it into the field, he plans to stay in Florida to practice before he goes to the Puerto Rico Open in two weeks.
Lowry plans to play more in America and eventually earn his PGA Tour card.
He could be the next Irish major champion.
Steve Stricker and Scott Piercy had 15 birdies between them in their third-round match Saturday morning. It was easily the best match of the week.
Stricker's eight birdies included a stretch of three in a row in the middle of the match. Piercy, who had seven birdies, could only watch as Stricker made a 31-footer to take a 1 up win and advance to the fourth round.
Piercy is going home, but he probably played the best golf through the first three rounds. In 40 holes, he went 16 under par with 17 birdies and an eagle.
The future looks bright for this 34-year-old Las Vegas native.