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Published: 09:31 | 8/4/16

Lowry won't get carried away

Offaly golfer two shots off lead in Augusta

Ireland's Shane Lowry promises to "give myself a slap in the face" if he starts dreaming on winning the Masters on Sunday.

The world number 32 carded a first-round four-under-par 68 at Augusta National on Thursday night to leave him just two shots behind leader and defending champion Jordan Spieth.

The 29-year-old admits that he dreams of putting on the green jacket, but says he must not get carried away by one round of golf.

“I mean, it's hard not to. I'm sure I'm going to be sitting back tonight thinking at some stage about wearing a green jacket. I'm only human. I'm going to do that,” Lowry said.

“But I've just got to kind of give myself a slap in the face and get myself back into reality, try to get down to business and keep hitting good shots and see where that leaves me at the end of the week.”

Lowry has been able to play 54 practice holes at the course in Georgia after arriving last Saturday following a missed cut at the Shell Houston Open.

“I've played a lot of golf here this week, and I do feel really comfortable around the place,” he said.

“It's a bit intimidating driving in the gates of Magnolia Lane to play the Masters. It was last year. And hopefully I'll be coming here for many years and hopefully I've got that out of the way now.

“It's the greatest players in the world, best golf course, best place. Yeah, that's the only way I can describe it, it's the best place in the world.”

Spieth, who led from start to finish last year, fired a 66 to become the first player in tournament history to hold the outright lead in five consecutive rounds at Augusta National.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is four shots behind the American following a 70 that included two dropped shots in his last three holes, but the world number three is confident that he claim the Masters title for the first time this weekend.

"I feel I'm going to have to play good golf, but I feel there's enough good golf in me so that I can reel him in over the next 54 holes." the 26-year-old said.

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