Friday 24 March 2017

Lowry hoping to expose rivals' flaws

Bernie McGuire IN Malaga

Despite the double distraction of noisy aircraft and maybe some nosy nudists, Shane Lowry is singularly focused on performing well in the Andalucian Open.

Malaga Airport can be seen from most parts of the Parador Malaga course, but for those competing in the Miguel Angel Jimenez-hosted event what they don't want to see is any private parts on display on the beach immediately behind the practice range and 12th tee.

That was the scenario last year when an elderly male stood behind the high wire fence separating the beach from the course in nothing but his birthday suit.

Lowry was on the range for most of yesterday as a reserve for the Pro-Am, with coach Peter Cowen offering the Esker Hills star some short-game tips.

After missing the half-way cut with scores of 72 and 79 on his return from injury last week in Sicily, Lowry is confident of an improved showing in Spain.

"Last week my game felt a long way away but the game has come around quite quick and I'm really looking forward to this week," said Lowry.

"Also, there is a radiologist here working in the fitness van this week and he took a scan of my arm and has given it the okay so the body is back to 100pc fit.

"I feel too if I work hard enough I can make up for some lost time, and also the aspiration this year is to put myself into contention a couple of times. I do want to win again but I'm not going to say that's the main goal."

Lowry is among six Irish competing, where most interest is in Jimenez and Spanish compatriots Alvaro Quiros and Jose Maria Olazabal.

All three will be heading to Augusta next month, with Olazabal indicating he will resist the urge to travel to the 2012 Ryder Cup host venue of Medinah while in the States.

"No, I will probably wait till later this year to visit the course," said Olazabal.

Meanwhile, Colin Montgomerie has declared that he would be prepared to accept the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy, but only if asked by the European Tour.

"Because of my involvement for and with the Tour over the years, I would have to accept but only if they wanted me," said Monty. "They would have to approach me. I wouldn't be approaching them."

Andalucian Open,

Live, Sky Sports 2, 11.0

Irish Independent

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