Shane Shines in the Sun With Course Record Equalling Round

Shane Lowry hits 10 under par (62) to match the course record with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson

The Irishman currently leads Louis Oosthuizen, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Pablo Larrazábal and Richard Sterne in joint second by three shots

Spaniard Larrazábal hits a 172-yard eagle on 16th, birdies the 17th and 18th to tie second at the end of the first round

Shane Lowry made a flying start to the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA by equalling Henrik Stenson’s course record by carding -10 today (Wednesday, 16 January).

The Irishman hit five birdies on both the front and back nines to leave himself in prime position for the Falcon Trophy with a three shot lead over a chasing pack made up Louis Oosthuizen, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Pablo Larrazábal and Richard Sterne (-7).

Speaking about his record equalling round, Shane Lowry said: “I’m obviously over the moon and it equals the best score I’ve ever shot.

“I told my caddie coming down the last that a birdie would be the best score I’ve ever shot and he told me to just go for it.

I left the putt short, but I felt like I hit a decent putt, it was just a bit more into the grain than I felt, and obviously I’m very chuffed.”

Spaniard Larrazábal created the moment of the day with a masterful 172-yard chipped eagle on 16th followed back-to-back birdies in his round two final holes.

Other big names in strong contention include, three time former champion Martin Kaymer and his Ryder Cup teammates Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter (-6), while world number 2, Brooks Koepka (-5) was 10 shots better off that previous first round effort in 2014. Dustin Johnson hit five birdies in the front nine but couldn’t convert his form for the rest of the round, finishing on three under par (69).

Defending champion, Tommy Fleetwood, who is looking for his record breaking third successive title, finished three under par (69), commenting on his round, “The setup this year is tougher than it has been. I know the scoring is good today, the weather is perfect, so if you hit it well, you can always score. But overall, it was a decent, steady sort of round.”

Emirati Saif Thabet who qualified for the tournament via the qualifiers enjoyed the experience of his Championship debut, appreciating the support of the fans, “I had really good support, especially on the last. I sunk a long putt there, so really heard the crowd go and cheer me on. It’s really good to have that here in Abu Dhabi.”

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA recently become part of the prestigious Rolex Series and with a prize fund now at US$7million, is one of the premium tournaments on The European Tour.

First staged in 2006, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA is being hosted at the iconic Abu Dhabi Golf Club for the 14th consecutive year from January 16-19, 2019.

Tickets for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA can be purchased here.