Defending champion Shane Lowry’s attempt at successive Abu Dhabi titles ended prematurely on Friday, with the Irishman missing the cut.
Last year’s winner, the reigning Open champion, bogeyed the final two holes at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA to slip to even par for the tournament – one shot below the cut line.
Playing in the marquee group alongside world No 1 Brooks Koepka and two-time Abu Dhabi champion Tommy Fleetwood, Lowry followed Thursday’s opening 70 with a 72, which comprised four bogeys and two birdies.
However, it was the dropped shots on 17 and 18 – Lowry needed two to escape the greenside bunker on the final hole – that ultimately undid his chances of a successful defence of the Falcon Trophy.
The missed cut was all the more surprising given Lowry had opened his 2020 season last week with a runner-up finish in Hong Kong.