Rolex Series

Shane Lowry feeds off buzz of bumper Wentworth crowds on day one

Shane Lowry said he fed off the buzz of the BMW PGA Championship crowd as he impressed on his return to a happy hunting ground on Thursday.

Shane Lowry

The Irishman has finished in the top 20 on nine occasions at this event and gave himself a solid platform for the week ahead with six birdies in a bogey-free 66 on day one.

Lowry was in the same group as Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose, and just behind star-studded trio Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel and Matt Fitzpatrick, and he enjoyed playing in front of bumper crowds at Wentworth Club.

He said: "This is the biggest event on The DP World Tour, and it's one of my favourites to come and play in. 

"I love playing here every year. I'll never miss it. It's something that really feels like a major tournament.

"Being out there playing and Rory is a group ahead of us, and playing with Justin and Tommy, too, home favourites, I suppose, was pretty nice and it was nice to kind of feed off the buzz of the crowd."

Lowry made light work of the tricky, 473-yard opening hole, taking two blows to get to nine feet and knocking in the birdie putt.

He picked up another shot at the par-five fourth, getting up and down from the bunker on the right, and holed a putt of just over 20 feet for his third birdie of the day at the sixth.

Lowry's first gain on the way home came at the 11th after his approach finished four feet from the hole and he moved to five under courtesy of a 13-footer finding its mark on the 15th.

The Irishman was clinging on to the coattails of playing partner Fleetwood - who set the early clubhouse target at eight under - and, after finding sand with his tee-shot on the 18th, hit a lay-up to around 100 yards and from there put it to eight feet before nailing the putt.

Lowry has had a productive season so far but has not yet entered the winner's circle in 2022.

He is hoping to change that over the coming months.

"It's as good a year as I've had in my career without winning," he added. "That's the best way to sum it up. 

"I'd love to win one of the next few tournaments I play over the next few months and to finish the calendar year with a win would be nice. 

"Obviously we have big things to play for over the rest of the year and hopefully I can give it a run this weekend, and you never know. See what happens."

Read next