Shane Lowry halves opening match at WGC World Matchplay

The Offaly golfer drew his match with Sergio Garcia

BY Daniel Kelly 07:41 Thursday 23 March 2017, 7:41 23 Mar 2017

Picture by: Eric Gay/AP/Press Association Images

Shane Lowry's future in the WGC Dell Technologies World Matchplay is still in his own hands after a halved match against Sergio Garcia in Austin, Texas.

The Offaly golfer led the match 1-Up going up the 18th, but a bogey on the final hole handed his Spanish opponent a half.

Despite halving the match, if Lowry or Garcia win their final two matches against John Rahm and Kevin Chappell, it should be enough to top Group 7, and advance to the Round of 16.

Speaking after the round, Garcia said that both he and Lowry found the going tough in the penultimate match of the day.

"We didn't play great. We definitely didn't make anything, neither of us. I think we made probably two or three putts between the two of us. At least I think we both fought hard."

"It is a good half. At the end of the day, if I win my next two matches, I'm through. If I would lost today, it puts me in a situation where I don't depend on myself anymore."

Despite the half, Lowry did hit one of the shots of the day at the Austin Country Club. The former Irish Open winner was the only player in the 64-man field to reach the Par-5 16th hole in two shots.

Earlier in the day, Rory McIlroy lost his first match in the tournament. He was beaten 2&1 by Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen in Group 2. He plays Gary Woodland on Thursday.

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