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in form Shane Lowry stays in touch with leaders after solid opening round at US Open

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Shane Lowry of Ireland watches his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry of Ireland watches his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry of Ireland watches his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

SHANE LOWRY recovered from a nightmare triple-bogey seven to grind his way to an opening 72 in the US Open at Torrey Pines.

The Clara man knew he couldn’t win his second Major on day one, but he certainly avoided losing it as he battled his way around the South Course in one-over to lie five shots behind early pace-setter Russell Henley.

After a 90-minute fog delay, Henley made six birdies in a four-under 67 to lead with 2018 Open champion Francesco Molinari, Xander Schauffele and four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka not far behind.

But Lowry is still well in touch after a battling display.

He made an unlikely 35-footer at the second to move straight into the red but quickly found himself two-over after running up a triple-bogey seven at the difficult fourth.

Forced to take a drop for an unplayable lie on the left, he was 40 feet from the hole in three but ended up four-putting, missing a two and a half footer for a six.

He didn’t panic, however, and rebounded with a brilliant birdie at the sixth, hitting a 205-yard approach from the right rough to four feet before making the putt to get back to one-over.

Chances escaped him at the seventh, eighth and ninth, and while he failed to get up and down from sand at the 222-yard 11th, he hit a wedge to five feet at the 14th and rolled in the putt before parring his way home.

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