Strong Saturday Performance Puts Irishman Shane Lowry on the Cusp of the Open Championship
Posted on: July 20, 2019, 11:59h.
Last updated on: July 21, 2019, 12:29h.
It’s Shane Lowry’s Open to lose on Sunday as the Irishman leads golf’s final major of the year by four strokes, thanks to an incredible eight-under 63 he carded on Saturday.
Playing in front of a crowd full of fellow countrymen at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, Lowry said wanted to drain every putt so he could hear the crowd roar at the 146th Open Championship.
Honestly, that’s the most incredible day I’ve ever had on the golf course,” Lowry said. “I honestly can’t explain what it was like.”
At 16-under, Lowry leads Tommy Fleetwood of England, who will join Lowry in the final pairing. American J.B. Holmes sits in third and trails by six. Another US golfer, PGA champion Brooks Koepka, and another Englishman, Justin Rose, must overcome seven-stroke deficits.
Now, the only things standing between him and the Claret Jug are 18 more holes and a forecast of wind and heavy rains Sunday afternoon (British Standard Time) that could make the back nine a little tricky.
Oddsmakers across the US have made Lowry the commanding favorite heading into the final round.
DraftKings lists Lowry at -200, or 1-2 odds, meaning a wager of $200 would win $100. PointsBet offers the same odds for the Irishman. BetAmerica and FanDuel offer Lowry at -190, while William Hill’s US books offer -180 odds.
In Las Vegas, the Westgate SuperBook lists Lowry at -175. Both William Hill and the SuperBook have a Lowry against the field bet. At William Hill, the remaining golfers have +160 odds, while the SuperBook gives them +155.
Fleetwood is the consensus second choice at the sportbooks, with his odds ranging from +300 at William Hill to +400 at FanDuel and DraftKings.
While Holmes entered the weekend in a tie for first with Lowry and is ahead of Koepka and Rose, the sportsbooks like Koepka and Rose’s chances to make a run more than the Kentuckian.
Koepka’s odds range from as low as +700 at William Hill to +1200 at DraftKings. Rose fetches +1400 at William Hill and +2000 at DraftKings, the SuperBook, and BetAmerica. Holmes, meanwhile, is at +3000 at William Hill and +4000 at the SuperBook.
Those odds, though, are small to the odds that Lowry, a 32-year-old with five professional wins to his credit, had when the Open started Thursday. Circa Sportsbook in Las Vegas offered +10500, or 105-1, on Lowry, and a bettor placed a $150 bet on him Wednesday.
Just after midnight ET Sunday, PropSwap noted the bettor is putting his ticket, which would pay $15,900, on the market. The asking price is $11,000, but the company noted the bettor would listen to offers.
Avoiding a Repeat of History
The Open is well known for producing challenging conditions, and the leaders may face playing in winds up of to 40 miles per hour as they navigate the back nine. The R&A, the governing body for British golf, moved up the tee times in an attempt to reduce the impact the weather may have on the tournament.
Lowry will also have to battle history. He had a four-stroke lead heading into the final round of the 2016 US Open, but he shot a 76 and finished three strokes back of winner Dustin Johnson.
“I think I learned a few things that day about playing in the final round of a major with the lead, that you need to just hang in until the very last minute,” Lowry recalled Saturday. “You never know what can happen. And I’m going to do the same tomorrow.”
Playing on his native Emerald Isle should help him Sunday. Even if the wind is not at his back, odds are the fans will be.
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