Golf

Ireland's Shane Lowry makes a fine start at Pebble Beach

Shane Lowry shot a two-under par round of 70 on day one at Pebble Beach
By Michael McWilliams and Phil Casey

SHANE Lowry maintained his recent good form by getting off to a solid start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California.

The Offaly man played well on his way to a share of 16th at last week's Waste Management Phoenix Open and picked up where he left off with a two-under-par round of 70.

With the event played at three courses, Lowry started off at the difficult Pebble Beach and swapped six birdies with four bogeys to sit just two shots off the lead overnight.

He will be slightly disappointed to have dropped a shot at the par-five 18th, but the world number 53 is well in the mix.

Three players shared the lead at four-under when play was suspended, with America's Rick Lamb and Joel Dahmen and South Korea's Seung-Yul Noh all having signed for 68s at Spyglass Hill.

Waterford's Seamus Power also played his first round at Spyglass Hill, where he shot a 70 which included four birdies and just two dropped shots.

Padraig Harrington, playing alongside Lowry, birdied two of his last four holes to sign for a 74.

World number one Jason Day opened with a 70 at Monterey Peninsula, while Jordan Spieth was also two-under after 17 holes when play was suspended due to inclement weather.

Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson were both one under with two holes to play.

Meanwhile, Scotland's Marc Warren equalled the lowest score of his European Tour career to set the pace in the Maybank Championship in Malaysia as Masters champion Danny Willett enjoyed a welcome return to form.

Warren carded seven birdies and an eagle in a nine-under-par 63 at Saujana Golf and Country Club, which left him two shots ahead of Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai.

Willett, who has struggled for consistent form since claiming his first Major title at Augusta National last year, was part of a six-strong group three shots back on six-under which included American Peter Uihlein and Hong Kong Open winner Sam Brazel.

Cork's Niall Turner, a regular on the Asian and Challenge Tours made the most of a rare European Tour start by firing a four-under 68, with Paul Dunne at level after a 72.

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