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A Red Hot Back Nine for Shane Lowry in Orlando

by | Mar 7, 2024 | PRO NEWS

An Irishman leads after one round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard and it’s not Rory Mcllroy.

Shane Lowry blistered the back nine at Bay Hill with a 5 under par 31 and finished minus 6 for the day.  A week ago Lowry flirted at The Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches before cooling off late in the event.

“It’s funny, when you’re out there playing and you get on a run like that it does feel pretty easy,” Lowry said of the 3-3-3-3 start on the back nine. “Then you start — I spoke about this with my coach this week — I said, ‘This is the type of place where you get on a run and it feels easy, but then you get on a run the other way and start making bogeys, it feels like you’re never going to make a par out here again. It’s one of them courses, it’s very difficult.”

One shot back at 5 under 67 are Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Lower in a tie for second place.

“I probably never have seen it play as easy on an afternoon as I did today,” added Lowry. “Obviously, we got a bit of rain on Tuesday night, we might have got a little bit last night, that helped us a little bit. It’s normally one of the firmest golf courses we play, and I’m sure over the weekend it’s going to firm up and become really difficult, but obviously 66 is a really good start.

Four players are two shots behind the leader at 4 under par 68, Russell Henley, Lee Hodges, Sam Burns and Sahith Theegala.

Burns came to Orlando with four straight finishes inside the top 10 and finds himself on Florida grass where he won back to back Valspar Championships down the road in the Tampa Bay area.

“I would say I’ve started off the year driving it pretty well,” said Burns. “I’ve always felt like, for me, if I’m driving it well, I can give myself a lot of chances with wedges and irons. I think that is a huge part of it for me. I would say that’s been really good to start.”

Meanwhile lurking only three strokes off the pace are major winners Brian Harman, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas among a dozen players including last year’s John Deere Classic winner Sepp Straka and one of last week’s runners-up Min Woo Lee.

Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard 2024 Leaderboard

POSITION
PLAYER
Total
R!
R2
R3
R4

1

S. Lowry
-6
66

T2

J. Lower
-5
67

T2

H. Matsuyama
-5
67

T4

R. Henley
-4
68

T4

L. Hodges
-4
68

T4

S. Burns
-4
68

T4

S. Theegala
-4
68

T8

L. List
-3
69

T8

M. Lee
-3
69

T8

W. Zalatoris
-3
69

T8

S. Straka
-3
69

T8

N. Taylor
-3
69

T8

C. Kirk
-3
69

T8

B. Harman
-3
69

T8

J. Thomas
-3
69

T8

E. Grillo
-3
69

T8

A. Hadwin
-3
69

T8

H. English
-3
69

T8

J. Spieth
-3
69

T20

J. Day
-2
70

T20

S. Scheffler
-2
70

T20

E. Cole
-2
70

T20

C. Conners
-2
70

T20

C. Morikawa
-2
70

T25

C. Pan
-1
71

T25

K. Bradley
-1
71

T25

A. Putnam
-1
71

T25

J. Poston
-1
71

T25

W. Clark
-1
71

T25

V. Hovland
-1
71

T25

D. Ford
-1
71

T25

B. An
-1
71

T25

S. Im
-1
71

T25

M. Homa
-1
71

T35

N. Dunlap
E
72

T35

S. Jaeger
E
72

T35

A. Schenk
E
72

T35

J. Rose
E
72

T35

T. Hoge
E
72

T35

T. Moore
E
72

T35

P. Rodgers
E
72

T35

A. Eckroat
E
72

T35

G. Murray
E
72

T35

E. Van Rooyen
E
72

T35

C. Davis
E
72

T35

D. McCarthy
E
72

T35

S. Power
E
72

T35

X. Schauffele
E
72

T49

T. Kim
1
73

T49

W. Simpson
1
73

T49

T. Fleetwood
1
73

T49

L. Glover
1
73

T49

C. Young
1
73

T49

 R. McIlroy
1
73

T49

L. Aberg
1
73

T49

A. Scott
1
73

T57

B. Todd
2
74

T57

M. Pavon
2
74

T57

C. Bezuidenhout
2
74

T57

P. Cantlay
2
74

T57

M. Fitzpatrick
2
74

T62

M. Hughes
3
75

T62

R. Fowler
3
75

T62

S. Kim
3
75

65

S. Valimaki
4
76

T66

N. Hojgaard
5
77

T66

J. Knapp
5
77

68

K. Kitayama
6
78

69

A. Svensson
7
79

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About the Author

<a href="https://golfonemedia.com/author/george_mcneilly/" target="_self">George McNeilly</a>

George McNeilly

George McNeilly is an award-winning multimedia broadcaster, producer and writer with a journalism background that has spanned the globe from four Olympics, 17 Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals, Major College Football, Basketball and Professional Golf. A former Senior ESPN executive, George teaches Sports Business at Full Sail University and is managing partner of McNeilly Communications.