Despite not being one of the fancied names ahead of the tournament, Shane Lowry has found himself very much in the thick of the action after the first round at The Masters.
The Offaly man shot a 71 on Thursday to position himself at one-under, good enough for tied eighth on the leaderboard. He had found himself even higher up the board earlier in his round, but he managed to recover well after an iffy period at the start of the back nine.
Overall, he can certainly be pleased with his day's work.
Lowry was playing alongside Justin Rose, who is currently the runaway leader after shooting a scintillating 65 yesterday. However, there is still a huge amount of golf to play.
Speaking after he finished his opening round, Lowry admitted that he was surprised to find himself so high up the leaderboard when his playing partner had put together such a strong display.
I was surprised when I came in and saw I was lying tied eighth, especially playing with Rosey and what he was doing.
I even said to him inside; he didn’t do anything outrageous, he didn’t hole many long putts or chip in. It was just very solid. It was a joy to watch that round of golf.
I know Justin shot seven under but apart from him the scoring is showing how much of a grind it was.
I feel like I played good. I made a couple of bad errors 10 and 15. They were a bit silly. But I was very proud of myself the way I hung on.
The golf course - I have never seen it like that. It was great, I loved it. I have always wanted to play Augusta like this in the Masters. [It was] firm and fast with putts getting away from you.
He certainly had his fair share of bad luck during the round.
The Augusta greens are notoriously unforgiving, something the Irishman can attest to after a seemingly fine chip on the 15th rolled the whole way into the water.
Shane Lowry learns the hard way how cruel Augusta greens can be pic.twitter.com/2LkT6pbbrO
— Heavens! (@HeavensFX) April 8, 2021
He recovered well from that point, birdieing the 16th and 18th to find himself in the red at the end of the day.
Lowry said he had to accept the harsh reality that slightly misplaced shots such as that one would be punished at Augusta and that his main focus was to improve on the par fives on day two.
I knew it was a difficult shot but I messed up myself (on the 15th). I didn’t even strike it bad, I just hit it a fraction too hard.
That’s just the way it is. That’s just this golf course. And that’s one of the easier pins from over the back of the green, so it will be interesting to see what it’s like the rest of the week.
It was a mistake. I did well to get the next one up and down and make six and I finished nicely so I was very happy with that.
I am disappointed today myself that I play the par fives one over today when I should’ve shot one under.
I need to play them better the rest of the week if I am to have a chance I’m doing something special here this weekend.
Lowry will tee off for his second round at 2.36pm Irish time.