Irishman Shane Lowry knows something about playing in rainy, windy, and chilly weather.
And yet, even he lost feeling in his hands during Thursday’s first round at the WM Phoenix Open.
“It was very cold. My hands were as cold as they have been in a while,” Lowry explained. “It’s one of those where you had to try and warm up your hands somehow before every shot because you lose the feeling in ’em.”
Temperatures in Scottsdale did not get higher than 50 degrees during the morning wave, which Lowry played in. Then, a cold front roared through the Phoenix area, bringing a torrential downpour that led to a 3-hour and 30-minute delay.
“You ride it out. It’s one of those where, the older you get, the more you realize don’t let it affect you, just go in, chill out,” Lowry said.
“I’m lucky. I have a couple of friends here with me this week. We went out to my car in the parking lot, and we just hung there for about two hours, warmed up because it was very cold. Yeah, you just get us it as the years go on.”
Despite the conditions, Lowry fought hard to shoot one of the lower rounds of the day. The man from County Offaly signed for a 4-under 67, which included six birdies on the front nine.
Having started on the 10th tee, Lowry led at 5-under when he made the turn to the front nine.
“I was going quite well before the delay. But it got really bad towards the end, it was quite tough,” Lowry said.
He bogeyed the challenging par-4 second hole and made par on the eight others. The 2019 Champion Golfer of the Year trails Sahith Theegala by two shots, who carded an impressive 6-under 65.
“We came back out. The wind was not blowing as strong, but the ball was going nowhere, and it was cold and kind of tough,” Lowry added.
“I was happy I made a couple of really nice saves coming in, and I’m pretty happy with my day’s work.”
Unlike half of the field, Lowry completed his first round.
The PGA Tour resumed play at TPC Scottsdale at 4:02 p.m. local time and suspended play again due to darkness at 6:10 p.m. MT. Most of the second wave did not complete nine holes.
Nevertheless, when play halted, Lowry’s ball sat in the rough to the left of the 6th fairway. But the conditions were so bad then that Lowry could not fathom why people continued to watch his group.
“There’s a group of lads on the 6th hole. When it was raining, I said, ‘What are you guys doing out here? Surely, you can find the closest bar and do something else,’” Lowry said.
“But the rain was coming in sideways, and they were standing there to watch us hit a 6-iron 160 yards; I was like, ‘You should go home, you know?’ Honestly, it was horrible; it was as tough as I can remember for a while.”