Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell in contention at the British Masters

Irish duo just two off the lead

Shane Lowry, US Open,

Shane Lowry, of Republic of Ireland, waves on the 18th hole during the delayed third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Sunday, June 19, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell have put themselves within two shots of the lead at the British Masters.

The Irish duo carded 3-under 68s in Round 1 to sit in a tie for 11th.

There is a four-way tie for the lead on 5-under shared by Mikko Ilonen of Finland, Scotland's Marc Warren, England's Tommy Fleetwood and Richard Sterne of South Africa.

Paul McGinley is on 1-under after carding a 70.

Michael Hoey has finished his opening round on 4-over.