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Lowry on cusp of earning PGA Tour card

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AKRON, Ohio – Shane Lowry held his own in the final pairing Saturday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and now the Irishman has plenty to play for in the final round.

Lowry began the day four shots behind Jim Furyk, but he made up some ground with a 3-under 67 that featured five birdies. At 7-under 203, he now sits alone in third place, two shots behind Furyk and Justin Rose.

“It’s definitely the most in control of myself I’ve been, in contention in an event,” Lowry said. “It was good out there, battling against one of the best players in the world. There’s nothing like it.”

Lowry is a non-member on the PGA Tour, but he is now on the cusp of securing full-time status for the 2015-16 season. He entered the week with the equivalent earnings of No. 121 on the current money list, needing to remain equal to No. 125 at the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship. A six-figure check this week in Akron will essentially cement that, while a win would earn him a two-year exemption and make him immediately eligible for the upcoming FedEx Cup playoffs.

Although he plays predominantly on the European Tour, the 28-year-old does plan to make more appearances in the U.S. next season once his status is secured.

“I haven’t made my full decision yet, but I think I’m going to play quite a bit more over here,” he said. “Big events here to start the year, like the West Coast Swing. I played that this year and it was nice. I played Torrey, Pebble. It’s nice to play those events.”

While Lowry may tee it up in more PGA Tour events next season, don’t expect him to follow anytime soon in the footsteps of the many European stars who now make their homes in the States.

“No, I don’t think I’ll ever move here,” Lowry said. “I’m a home bird, I love living in Ireland. I’m very Irish and I love being around my friends and family, so I don’t think that’s an option for me.”