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Sunday 22 October 2017

'It's a year ago, for God's sake' - Shane Lowry 'sick' of talking about US Open loss

 

Shane Lowry at the range during a practice round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Erin Hills. Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS
Shane Lowry at the range during a practice round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Erin Hills. Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

Brian Keogh

Shane Lowry is "sick to death" of talking about last year's Oakmont disappointment and vowed to write a new chapter in his US Open story this week.

The Clara man (30) loves the test posed by golf's toughest Major and having turned around his putting in recent weeks, he believes he can go one better than last season's runner-up finish and give the Irish something to shout about at Erin Hills.

Mention Oakmont to Lowry and you're likely to get an earful, as an American reporter found out to his cost at the Memorial Tournament.

"I told him I was sick talking about it," Lowry said. "I mean it's a year ago, for God's sake. It was a great week in my career but what's the point in talking about it?

"It happened. It's over. We're here, it's a different tournament. All I want to do is play well this week."

Lowry doesn't need to be reminded that he had a four-shot lead entering last year's final round but three-putted three times coming down the stretch, finishing tied for second with Scott Piercy and Jim Furyk as Dustin Johnson clinched his first Major.

The USGA didn't get the memo, mischievously grouping the Offaly man with Piercy and Furyk for the first two rounds.

But after finishing ninth at Chambers Bay in 2015 and second last year, Lowry knows that he has what it takes to make another US Open charge.

Going back to basics with his putting is part of the reason for Lowry's optimism, having admitted that he lost the plot searching for solutions on the greens after his disappointment 12 months ago.

"It is one of those games where you can start to panic, which is probably what I did towards the end of last year," he confessed. "I changed a bit too much instead of staying patient and playing my own game.

"I don't want to talk about it too much, about my putting, but it has been good the past two weeks and it feels good out there and the speed of the greens feel lovely."

Tied for sixth in the BMW PGA at Wentworth for his first top 10 finish since last year's US Open and 15th at The Memorial two weeks ago, all he needs now is to putt as well as he drives the ball on a course where knee-deep fescue awaits the wild hitters.

Lowry clearly fancies his chances, adding: "I love the tournament. I love the test. To be honest, I hope it is a level-par winning score. If I drive the ball well, the greens are as pure as you can get and the fairways are generous. There are no excuses."

Irish Independent

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