In-form Lowry confident he can reel in McIlroy and win Race to Dubai
Shane Lowry wants to finish 2015 on a high note by challenging Rory McIlroy for the Race to Dubai honours.
GAA fan Lowry, who helped launch the 'Faithful Fields' Centre of Excellence project for Offaly in Croke Park yesterday, has given himself a solid launchpad in the contest for Europe's No 1 slot.
His confidence is high after reaching a new level of achievement by winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August.
"I definitely have more self-belief the last few weeks, there's no point saying I haven't," he said.
"I have only played three tournaments since I won.
"I feel like I'm doing everything I want to do right and I'm preparing myself well. If I keep doing that I think I could have a good year next year."
Also on the Lowry wish-list is a place in the Ryder Cup team and the Olympics next year.
The Clara native, who finished joint second in the British Masters last Sunday, resumes on Tour in the Turkish Airlines Open on October 29.
The outlook is bright for Lowry, who is fourth in the Race to Dubai rankings with almost €2.5m in earnings, just €500,000 behind European No 1 McIlroy.
He's not doing a Conor McGregor and shouting the odds, but if Lowry maintains his current form, anything is possible.
"I'm half a million behind Rory. I don't know what tournaments he's playing in, but I'd definitely love to have a crack at it in Dubai," said Lowry. "If I can win the tournament (DP World Tour Championship) in Dubai, I can win the Race to Dubai."
Irrespective of his final ranking place in Europe for this year, Lowry will make a run at the PGA Tour.
"Next year I'm playing in America until the Irish Open, which is my first tournament back in Europe in May," he said.
"Then I'm just playing the bigger events in Europe.
"I would hope to make the Ryder Cup on the World points list.
"I'm playing in big enough tournaments that if I keep doing what I'm doing, I can definitely make that team and kick on up the world rankings."
Lowry will be part of a fund-raising scheme to aid the 'Faithful Fields' project, with details to be formulated in the next couple of months.
Beyond that, and his own golfing ambitions, Lowry targets the Olympics.
"I want to go to Rio. It would be an amazing experience," he said.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Colsaerts and Andy Sullivan each shot 64 to lead in the fog-disrupted Portugal Masters at seven under par.
Irish scores: Damien McGrane (-4); Paul Dunne (-3); Kevin Phelan (-1); Padraig Harrington (-1); Darren Clarke (level par); Peter Lawrie (+2 after 17, completes round 1 today); Michael Hoey (+3).
Portugal Masters, Live, Sky Sports 2, 11.30