Shane Lowry failed to play his way into contention at the Irish Open on Saturday and the former winner put it down to his "cold putter".

The 2009 champion could not improve on his starting score of two under par, shooting a par round of 70 at the County Clare links, and sits a long way down the field going into the final day.

"I felt like I played okay, to be honest, I gave myself a lot of chances but I didn't really hole anything," Lowry told RTE Sport after his round.

"The putter was cold and it was the first average or bad putting round I have had in a long time so I'll take it on the chin and move on.

"I'm not too disappointed. It is what it is. I have come to deal with the fact that you are going to have days like this in this game."

Lowry will be amongst the earlier starters on Sunday and while the Offaly man concedes that he has no chance of winning the trophy for the first time as a professional, he admitted that he came to Lahinch with the intention of taking the title.

"I'm a bit disappointed that I am not going to have a chance to win this tournament, because ultimately that was my goal coming here this week.

"But I will go out and try to shoot the best round that I can and see where it leaves me."

Lowry battled illness on the course on Friday but the Esker Hills golfer would not use it as an excuse for Saturday's score.

"I still don't feel 100 per cent, but I'm fine, and I am able to hit good shots and I am able to get on with it.

"Yesterday was a bit tricky but I thought I could go out there today and shoot four or five under and give myself half a sniff but it didn't happen."

Robin Dawson, meanwhile, played a fine round of 64 on Saturday to sit well inside the top 20 going into the final day and Lowry had some advice for the young Waterford golfer who is very much in the fledgling stages of his professional career.

"Hopefully the leaders don't go too far away and I would advise him to just enjoy it and give it his best shot.

"You are not going to get too many chances to win this but this is one chance and hopefully he gets many more.

"So try and take it by the scruff of the neck and give it a good go."