Lucas Herbert sets the pace at Irish Open; Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy lag behind

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Lucas Herbert remains at the top of the Irish Open leaderboard after two rounds on the strength of his opening 8-under 64 at Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown, Ireland.

Herbert, an Australian, followed with a 4-under 67 on Friday that included both a bogey and a double-bogey. He balanced it out with a total of eight birdies on the day and is at 13 under for 36 holes.

After winning last season’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Herbert is looking for his second European Tour win.

Despite not being thrilled with his big numbers on Friday, Herbert was pleased with how he’d set himself up for the weekend. He leads Grant Forrest and Andy Sullivan, both at 11 under, by two shots.

“I think it’s definitely something that comes with a win where you know you’ve proved to yourself that you can win, you can hit shots under pressure and actually win,” he told the European Tour. “So I’ll be taking a lot of experience from that into the weekend and try and draw on that confidence as well.”

Defending champion John Catlin was T17 at 7 under, two shots clear of 2019 British Open champion Shane Lowry and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.