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July 6, 2017

Shane Lowry

Portstewart, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Q. Would you have taken a 4-under 68 beforehand?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I definitely feel like it's the least I deserved out there. I felt like I played great. The last I gave a little fist-pump because I felt like I really needed and wanted to hole that putt.

Wasn't necessarily hitting bad putts, but struggled with a few reads and pace of the greens. I played great. Gave myself a lot of chances. Yeah, I'm happy.

Q. You mentioned the par 5s yesterday; that there was opportunities on the par 5s.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I started off, obviously on the back nine, and the two par 5s in a row, I made two pars, which is not great. From there on in, I birdied the next two par 5s. Played them nicely. I drove the ball well today which is key around here and gave myself a lot of chances.

Q. At your press conference yesterday, you mentioned the extra responsibilities and duties you guys have, the Irish players on an Irish Open week.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, yesterday was a long week. I was up at half five for the Pro-Am, and I think I left the golf course at four o'clock. It's kind of one of those days -- and I didn't barely have time for lunch. It's one of those days, I know it's going to happen now. Maybe the first couple years it turned me off a little bit but I'm fine now.

Q. And a good round tomorrow will guarantee you See the Lions on Saturday.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, exactly. That's the first half of the job done today. Another decent one tomorrow and give myself a chance.

You know, be interesting to see what the scoring is going to be like. I think it's going to be very good today. It's very easy conditions out there. So I'm not surprised to see someone at 8-under but hopefully no one goes too mad, anyway.

Q. Thoughts on the opening round?
SHANE LOWRY: I'm pretty happy. Let's be honest, it was pretty easy out there this morning. The way I was hitting it off the tee, kind of played quite easy. Gave myself a lot of chances. Didn't necessarily -- didn't hole any putts. I was quite happy to hole that one on the last because it gave me a bit of momentum going into tomorrow. But I wasn't hitting bad putts. It was kind of not happening for me.

I'm pretty happy with that. 4-under in the first round is pretty good. I'm not going to complain.

Q. How low do you think the players can go?
SHANE LOWRY: If conditions stay like this, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone shoot 10-under out there today. I seen Oli Fisher with 7-under after 13. The scoring, it's gettable. The greens are nice. They are not in too difficult spots and the par 5s are playing quite short.

Q. You drove the ball really well.
SHANE LOWRY: I drove it lovely. I really struggled on Tuesday in the practice round. I really struggled off the tee but today was lovely, yeah. Was hitting the ball well and was hitting it long. Gave myself a lot of chances. Unfortunately I didn't birdie as many as I would have liked, but I'm pretty happy with that.

Q. And three birdies coming in on the back nine gives the local crowd plenty to cheer.
SHANE LOWRY: I felt like I needed to shoot probably 3-under par around here today. So to hole that one on the last was nice. Yeah, to finish well is always good because I was very patient today, which I'm proud of myself for that.

Yeah, the way I played, I 4-under was probably about, you know, the least, the worst score I could have shot. Hit the ball lovely. Gave myself a lot of chances.

I was pin-high a lot of the time. Easy enough putts but I just kind of struggled on the greens. Maybe I was over-reading them a bit too much, reading too much into them, because they are a lot slower than what I'm used to. Probably over-reading them and just reading too much break into them and trying to see a break that's not actually there. Whereas the one on the last, I seen a bit of a double-breaker, so I just kind of hit it straight and hope for the best and thankfully it went in.

Q. In these conditions, virtually flat calm, birdies are everywhere, so you had to shoot a 68 at least.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I think you had to shoot 69. You had to break 70 today. It's very gettable out there. There's a few spots of bother if you don't drive it well, but with no wind around here, it's definitely very gettable and I wouldn't be surprised to see someone go very low. I seen someone at 8-under. I don't know if he's finished or not 7-, 8- , 9-under is definitely out there today.

Q. To get into this tournament with a 68, just to get that feeling of you have to score, how important is that?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, very important. It's important to get out there tomorrow and not be chasing the cut; be chasing the top of the leaderboard, not be chasing the cut. Hopefully get off to a good start and hopefully three more of those, I won't be too far away.

I was very patient today. Quite proud of myself for that, because I was getting a bit frustrated around the turn. I was hitting some great shots, even the two shots I hit into 18. My pace was off a little bit. My putting, I was hitting everything a little bit firm, and towards the end, it was a little bit better, so, yeah.

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