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Shane Lowry Irked By Officials Who 'Lacked Balls' To Make Decision

Shane Lowry Irked By Officials Who 'Lacked Balls' To Make Decision
By PJ Browne

Shane Lowry finished on eight-under and tied for 12th at the PGA Championship over the weekend.

The Offaly man ended eight shots behind winner Brooks Koepka as the American claimed his second major of the year and the third of his career.

Having carded a 64 in his second round, Lowry was unable to hit those heights in the two which followed. There was a one-under 69 on Saturday and a level par 70 on Sunday.

Still, it was an encouraging weekend for the 31-year-old; and particularly good to see him in contention on the Sunday of a major.

It was a tournament which ended in some frustration for Lowry as he carded bogeys on both the 16th and 17th.

On the par three 16th, he ended up behind a television tower from his tee-shot. He called for a ruling from an official. Unhappy with that decision he sought the opinion of another.

"I think the referee didn’t have the balls to make a decision there and, if he did, I would have had an easier shot," Lowry told the Irish Times.

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Lowry felt that if European Tour referee John Paramour or "any of the good referees" had been on the course, then they would have given him full relief from the situation.

But he wasn’t giving me full relief, he was telling me to drop it in the tree basically. I ended up making a good four; if I’d made double I wouldn’t have been too happy with him. It is what it is. It took so long I felt I was getting in Justin’s way, he ended up making bogey as well.

Despite ending up with his drop having another television tower in the way, Lowry decided to play on.

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"He wouldn’t make a decision. The other referee said, ‘it is your decision’. I said, ‘Do you know what? I’m just going to play’.

"I didn’t want to wait around any longer. It happened. It is not the end of the world."

After the weekend's action, Lowry moved up the 139th in the FedEx Cup standings. To retain his PGA Tour card, he must move into the top 125 by the end of this coming week's Wyndham Championship. Considering he went into the PGA Championship ranked 156th, it has been a good weekend for him.

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"It was great fun over the last few days," Lowry said on RTE Radio 1's Morning Ireland.

"Like I said last night, and I said to Alan [brother and caddy] and my Dad driving in here, no matter what happens, it's been a great week. To be up there again on a major Sunday is what it's all about.

"It would have been nicer if I'd parred the last few or even made a birdie or two.

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"That's three weekends in a row right up there, right back where I feel I belong."

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