Lowry Delighted With His First Day ‘Back At School’ With Yas Links 67.

Shane Lowry was delighted with his ‘first day back at school’ posting a five-under-par 67 on day one of the Abu Dhabi Championship on the Yas Links course in the UAE capital.

After watching TV coverage of the morning rounds from the comfort of his Yas Island hotel room, it was a little cooler and also windy in the afternoon when Lowry took to the Kyle Phillips designed course.

The 2019 Abu Dhabi champion will head into day two sharing ninth place, four shots adrift of Scotland’s Scott Jamieson who signed for a bogey-free and new course record 63 to take a one-shot lead into day two of the Rolex Series $8m event.

In-form Viktor Hovland, and winner of last month’s Tiger Woods-hosted Hero World Challenge is second with an eight-under-par 64.

Lowry is returning to competition for the first time since last being in the UAE for November’s DP World Tour Championship and having got seriously back into his golf just recently in moving his family back to the Bears Club in Florida.

And he could not have wished for a brighter start in racing to five-under through 11 holes thanks to birdies at three, seven, the ninth hole and then back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11.  His only bogey was on 12 before a sixth birdie of his round at the 15th.

There was no better birdie than at the 11th where he chipped-in to move to five-under for his round and then in walking onto the green, Lowry took off his cap and bowed to the crowd.

“It was a good day’s work though a bit like the first day back at school because you never know what is going to happen”, he said.

“I was happy with my score even though I played okay though I wasn’t aggressive enough and had a different tempo but overall, I felt I did well and a 67 is a good starting score

“I would have taken that score on the first tee but then I was sitting in my hotel room this morning looking at TV coverage of the morning play and the lads were shooting the lights out.  So, you’re thinking it looks as though it’s going to be easy but then it’s going to be windy tomorrow and feel as though you have to go and shoot the lights out in posting a low score today,

“There is always going to be a little rust in the game not having played since the end of last year.  It was good to get off to a decent start but then I missed a couple of short putts on the front nine and then didn’t really make anything on my back nine.

“I drove the ball well though I didn’t do anything amazing while there were a few sloppy iron shots.   I chipped in at the 12 but it was an average chip shot and while I missed a couple of short putts, I holed a couple of nice one’s

“The good thing there was a lot of positives out there and shooting five-under on any day is pretty good.  Though this is only the first round of my year and it’s going to be a long ole season”.

Padraig Harrington completed his round shortly after Lowry in signing for a one-over-par 73 while poor light soon after halted play with Jonathon Caldwell at three-over-par and three holes to play.

There is some 15 players still to complete their opening round

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