MCILROY AND LOWRY KEEP MEDAL PLACES IN THEIR SIGHTS WHILE SAILORS FINISH IN 13TH OVERALL
The third round of the Men’s Individual Stroke Play was played today, with Team Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry continuing their run of good form to keep in contention at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Tokyo. With a round of 68 for Lowry, he moves to 10-under and into a tie for 9th while McIlroy sits 1 shot further ahead on 11-under after a round of 67.
Elsewhere, after a delayed start to their day’s racing at Enoshima Island in Tokyo, Irish sailing duo, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove finally got the last day of their 49er fleet races underway. Going into this afternoon’s sailing, the pair sat in 14th position, and needed conditions and results to go their way in order to finish in the top 10 and advance to the medal race. It wasn’t to be though as despite a first-place finish in Race 12, the pair finished in 13th overall.
The third round of the Men’s Individual Stroke Play was played today, with Team Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry continuing their run of good form to keep in contention at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Tokyo.
With a round of 68 for Lowry, he moves to 10-under and into a tie for 9th while McIlroy sits 1 shot further ahead on 11-under after a round of 67.
Playing alongside each other, the pair both started the day on 7-under par and McIlroy admits it was a great way to stay relaxed.
“I was sort of trying to keep pace with him on the front 9, he got off to a great start,” explained McIlroy. “Then it sort of felt like he was trying to keep pace with me on the back, he got unlucky on 14 with the ball getting stuck up the tree. It was really good to play with him, we fed off each other, we kept it really relaxed out there, like it’s been all week. It would have been great to get to play with one another again tomorrow but it looks like we’re probably going to be a group apart, but it was good fun and I think it was good for both of us to keep us relaxed.”
Despite playing as individuals and not necessarily as a team, both players were keen to support one another and cheer each other on.
“I think we were trying to spur each other on,” said Lowry. “Obviously I’m competing against him so I want to beat him, but I want to see him play well too. I want to see the two of us up on the leader board, it’s nice to see the two Irish flags up on the first page of the leader board.”
McIlroy sits just three shots off the lead which is held by Xander Schauffele of the United States on 14-under par. His plan for tomorrow’s final round is simple.
“Give it my all,” he said. “It’s the last opportunity to do this for another three years - usually it’s four - so it’s just to go out there and give it my all. Leave it all out there and hopefully it’s enough.”
Lowry too, although slightly further back, is just three shots short of a bronze medal place and feels he has even better golf in him still.
“I’ve made five bogeys this week and 15 birdies, I don’t feel like I’m playing out of my skin. I know I shot a good score yesterday but I feel like I have a low score in me out there and wouldn’t it be a great day for it to happen tomorrow? I’m looking forward to it, I hope I can play my best golf tomorrow. If I do, I do, and if I don’t then I don’t - but one thing’s for certain I’m going to give it my best shot.”
Lowry held a significant 25ft putt on the 18th green to save par, in his mind, it could be an important one come tomorrow afternoon.
“I was very happy with that putt on the last, I feel like that was huge for me, it would have made my evening a little more disappointing than it is if I had missed. Three-under is not the greatest score out there, but it’s still decent and I’ve got a chance to do something very special tomorrow and I’m excited about it.”
After a delayed start to their day’s racing at Enoshima Island in Tokyo, Irish sailing duo, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove got the final day of their 49er fleet races underway. Going into this afternoon’s sailing, the pair sat in 14th position, and needed conditions and results to go their way in order to finish in the top 10 and advance to the medal race.
A strong opening Race 10 for the team, saw them finish in third place putting them right in the mix. A tougher Race 11 followed though, and they finished out the race in 17th place. A fantastic final Race 12 saw them take the win – perfectly bookending their Tokyo journey with a win at the start and a win at the end – however, it wasn’t enough to see them through to the medal race, as they bowed out of the competition in 13th place overall, just three spots outside of qualifying.
Speaking afterwards, Dickson said: "I'm pretty proud of the way we sailed, it's really good to finish on a high with the last race, and pretty amazing that we got two race wins. We've learned a lot from these games and we're going to bring that forward to (Paris) 2024."
Waddilove added: "Overall, it was a very positive experience and we've learnt plenty from this Olympic experience that we can bring forward. My biggest takeaway from this week is that we were very much capable of competing against these guys that have done multiple Olympics and have medals and medals under their belts and there's no reason why we can't get to 2024 and be medal contenders."
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