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Shane Lowry Creates Desert Storm at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Shane Lowry Creates Desert Storm at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
By Aaron Strain Updated

Ten birdies. Eight pars. And a tie of the course record for good measure. As far as first days back at work go, Shane Lowry has just crushed it!

A new season of the European Tour swung back into action in the early hours of this morning with the big Offaly man one of the first to strike a ball in anger as the HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club got underway.

Starting at the tenth, the Clara native didn't take long to click into gear in the sunshine of an Emirati morn, with back-to-back birdies at 12c and 13 and again at 15 and 16, setting the tone for what would be a record-equalling round from the world number 75.

Nonchalant level set to ten, the Irishman found fairways with little fuss and attacked pin-after-pin with some imperious iron play.

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And whilst Lowry can be pleased with his morning's work, such was his vein of form, he may be ruing the fact that he isn't further clear of a chasing field, having leaked a three-foot eagle opportunity wide of the cup on the 18th, his ninth.

Nevertheless, he put that disappointment behind him quickly, almost holing from the first cut on the first for the double birdie, before moving to six-under from all of four feet. It was one of four birdies in a row as the former Irish Open champion made his way around the turn.

At the seventh, Lowry birdied his third par of the day, underscoring his almost sorcerer like control with the steel heads in hand, and after a birdie at eight, the opportunity to better Henrik Stenson's 62 from 2006, was very much in the offing.

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But, alas, it wasn't to be, as a twelve-footer from the edge of the green didn't stay high enough.

Not to worry, of course. Shane will be happy to see clear water to the tune of three shots between himself and the chasing pack, at the minute headed by Louis Oosthuizen at -7.

Irish interest for the rest of the day will now centre on Paul Dunne, who, after a disappointing end to 2018, will look to start the new season with a flourish.

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Picture credit: Sportsfile

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