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Shane Lowry critical of ‘joke’ start to second day’s play at Valhalla

Ireland's Shane Lowr watches his tee shot  on the fifth hole

Ireland's Shane Lowr watches his tee shot on the fifth hole

Ireland’s Shane Lowry felt it was “a joke” that play started in a torrential downpour on the second day of the US PGA Championship at Valhalla on Friday.

Lowry was in the first group out at 7:30am local time but was unable to complete the opening hole before play was suspended.

And to make matters worse, the 27-year-old and playing partners Ryan Palmer and Bob Sowards were kept out on the course as officials believed the rain would clear quickly.

“I think to be honest, when we were playing the first hole, it was a joke,” said Lowry, who bogeyed the first two holes and went on to add a 74 to his opening 68. “You couldn’t see the flight of the ball after 150 yards.

“I called the referee over and said it to him but he said ‘No, play on’. Then we were standing at the back of the first green for an hour, standing in the rain, nowhere to sit down, nothing to do.

“From there on it was just a grind for me all day. I’m obviously quite disappointed with the score I shot but it could have been a lot worse. I made a few par saves out there and my head was a bit off all day. The start that we had unsettled me a lot.”

The heavy rain also meant it was quite dark when play began and Lowry added: “It was their call and we had to deal with it. I feel like we should have been taken in. What was wrong with taking us in and starting an hour later?

“It was borderline playable. There was an element about it that if we were being picky, we could have said it was too dark.

“It set the tone for my whole day which was disappointing because, the golf I’m playing at the minute, I really felt I could go out there, shoot a decent score and put myself in a good position in to the weekend.”

Palmer shrugged off the conditions to add a second round of 70 to his opening 65 and finish seven under par, two shots behind clubhouse leader Rory McIlroy.

“It was tough when we teed off,” Palmer said. “I wasn’t quite sure if we should have teed off to be honest with you, you could barely see the fairway. “It was tough when we got to the first green, we couldn’t get a clean lie with the standing water, so they couldn’t even squeegee it clear enough.

“We were questioning in the fairway why we had to hit into a puddle because the first green was already under water. They said, ‘That’s just golf’. We’re like, tell the guy indoors that’s making the decision to come check it out, because it’s wet.

“When we got to the green, sure enough, it was casual water all over the green. They tried squeegeeing it and they couldn’t even do that for my line.

“We ended up sitting up there for 45 minutes in the (camera) tower with the volunteers taking pictures of all the water.

“Fortunately it lightened up like they said it would and we were able to continue. I was able to hit great shots coming in and birdied the last two holes. It’s nice to go relax this afternoon sitting at seven under going into the weekend.”

 

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