DUBAI (Reuters) - Shane Lowry suffered yet more frustration as the Irishman’s attempt to top the European Tour money list for a first time floundered after another difficult round in the desert on Friday.
Going into the season-ending $8 million DP World Tour Championship, the world number 18 was one of seven players still in contention to win the Race to Dubai -- the continent’s revamped Order of Merit.
However, Thursday’s error-strewn opening round of 75 all but ended his chances and although he improved to card a second-round 70 on Friday, Lowry has now set himself more modest goals for the remaining two days.
“It feels like it’s playing pretty easy out there. I made a few mistakes, another frustrating day,” Lowry told reporters after sinking three bogeys and five birdies for a one-over aggregate total of 145.
“My goal was to shoot 68, get back under par, I‘m just not playing well enough to be shooting really low. I feel comfortable on the greens, if I can drive a ball a little bit better tomorrow I could shoot mid-60s,” he added.
“I still reckon a good weekend and I can backdoor a top 10-15 finish. That’s the goal.”
The 28-year-old’s form has slumped since winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August. In six subsequent events, he has failed to make the top-50 three times and only troubled the leaderboard at two of them.
“The game has been driving me mad the last three weeks. I‘m looking forward to having a decent weekend and nice week off next week, it’s badly needed,” said Lowry, who began the Dubai event ranked fourth on the money list.
The top 15 players will share an additional $5 million in prize money.
“I have to look at the guys around me,” added Lowry. “It’s up to me to try and finish as high up the Race to Dubai as I can, maybe fourth or fifth position.”
Editing by John O'Brien