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putt it right Lowry suffers at Sawgrass but remains in the hunt for The Players at TPC Sawgrass

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Shane Lowry lines up a putt on the 13th hole

Shane Lowry lines up a putt on the 13th hole

Shane Lowry lines up a putt on the 13th hole

Shane Lowry was frustrated after a second-round 74 but he’s still well in the hunt for The Players at TPC Sawgrass.

The Clara man (33) didn’t putt as well as he did in his opening 68, but despite two three-putts it was his play from tee to green that sent him scurrying to the range.

Starting on the back nine, the Open champion had to hit a 94-yard wedge to five feet to salvage par at the 368-yard 12th having pulled his tee shot into water, 30 yards left of his target.

But after three-putting the 14th and 18th and to turn in two-over, he mixed two birdies with two bogeys on his homeward nine to share 22nd in the clubhouse, five strokes behind early leader Chris Kirk on two-under.

While he knocked in a 23-footer for his first birdie of the day at the first and a 13-footer for another at the fourth, Lowry bogeyed the 165-yard third, where he came up short of the green.

He dropped another shot at the seventh, where he pulled his tee shot into a fairway bunker and was frustrated he had to dig deep just to save par at the 574-yard ninth.

Forced to lay up after driving into the left rough, he left himself just 104 yards for his third but failed to find the green and had to make a nine footer for his par.

Seeking his first win since 2015, Kirk made seven birdies and an eagle two in a seven-under 65 to lead by one stroke on seven-under from Denny McCarthy (69), Brian Harman (71), Bryson DeChambeau (69) and Charley Hoffman (68).

The former Walker Cup player (35) was six under for a six-hole stretch mid-round as he followed a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th with an eagle two from 147 yards at the first and another birdie at the second.

“I wish I had some revelation of something that I changed and all of a sudden sparked this incredible play, but no, I didn’t change anything,” said Kirk, who is seeking his fifth PGA Tour win and his first since taking time out in 2019 to deal with alcoholism and depression.

“I knew I was hitting good shots, was hitting good putts, and then, yeah, all of a sudden I chipped that ball in on 15, and before I knew it I was 5-under, 6-under, whatever.”

On the European Tour, Cormac Sharvin needs two closing pars to make the cut in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters after play was suspended due to fading light.

The Co Down man was two-over for his round and tied for 62nd on one-over-par through 16 holes when play was halted for the day.

He’s one of 12 players scheduled to resume at 7.30 am local time after battling 40km per hour gusts.

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Denmark’s Jeff Winther carded a second consecutive 67 to lead by two shots on eight-under-par from Jamie Donaldson, South Africa’s Darren Fichardt, American Kurt Kitayama, Finland’s Kalle Samooja and England’s Jack Senior.

Sharvin eagled the par-five second to get to three-under before the wind got up and he mixed two birdies with six bogeys.

He was sitting on the projected cut mark on one-over but a 70 left Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell on three-over and looking forward to the upcoming two-week swing in Kenya alongside Paul Dunne whose 78 left him on 10-over.

The Players Championship, Live
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Qatar Masters, Live
Sky Sports, 9.0

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