Shane Lowry continued his fine recent form during the opening round of the Irish Open, leaving himself just one shot off the lead at Lahinch.

Lowry made the most of a day of benign conditions in the West of Ireland and shot a round of 66, which could have been even better were it not for some loose putting.

That round left him one shot behind a group of five on -5, including Lee Slattery and Wade Ormsby and while Lowry admits he made mistakes in his opening round, he has given himself a great platform on which to build.

"I don't think I played particularly great today," he told RTÉ Sport. "I missed quite a few fairways but the chances I did give myself, I took them.

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"It’s nice to get off to a good start here. I was feeling it a little bit this morning, I felt quite anxious on the putting green before I went out but I was looking forward to getting out there and obviously it’s beautiful weather here in Lahinch so it’s nice.

"I scored well today and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been not getting too down on myself with bad shots and just getting on with things.

"Mentally I’ve been in a great place the last six or eight months and I had it out there today and hopefully I’ll have it for the rest of the week."

By contract Graeme McDowell struggled to a 72 in his first round, leaving him seven shots off the pace already.

It was a round of fine margins for McDowell, who never seemed to get the breaks but he refused to be downbeat and is confident he can turn things around tomorrow.

"It was a slow start that I steadied the ship around the turn and then made a bogey down 12, an easy par-5 today," he said. "I kind of flared it off the tee, got a terrible lie and then missed a short one.

"That sort of stopped the comeback if you like. It was just one of those days when nothing seemed to happen.

"I seemed to be missing fairways by a year and the semi-rough is just think enough, I got a couple of fliers and then a few that didn’t come out at all so consequently didn’t hit my irons at all.

"It wasn’t a bad ball-striking day you know, it wasn’t alarms bells and let’s go to the range for five hours. I just need to clean a couple of things up and get back at it tomorrow.

"There is a score to be had out here and I’m looking forward to get back it."

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