Thursday 8 December 2016

Lowry hoping to maintain momentum in BMW chase

Gerard Hughes

Published 25/06/2015 | 02:30

Shane Lowry is one of six Irish golfers competing at Munich
Shane Lowry is one of six Irish golfers competing at Munich

Shane Lowry will have little time to rest after his US Open heroics when he tees it up in the marquee group at the BMW International in Munich today.

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Lowry joins local hero Martin Kaymer and Sweden's Henrik Stenson in an early start this morning at Golf Club Munchen Eichenried, and his inclusion in the high-profile three-ball is another sign of the popular Offaly star's growing status in the European game.

While Lowry finished tied ninth at Chambers Bay, Kaymer will look to bounce back from a disappointing defence of his US Open title last week by giving home fans something to cheer about.

Kaymer, who led from start to finish on his way to an eight-shot victory at Pinehurst last year, missed the cut at Chambers Bay by a shot, with most of the damage done by a triple-bogey seven on the 10th in a second-round 74.

But making an early exit at least allowed the 30-year-old more time to travel to Munich to prepare for an event which provided his second European Tour title in 2008.

"It is special when you play in your own country," Kaymer said. "Obviously for me, the expectations are quite high from the spectators and as well as from yourself because you want to perform a little bit better than other weeks.

"And that will be the fine line, the thing that you need to learn as good as possible to still perform and not be focused too much on if you want to perform well."

Recorded

Kaymer has recorded just one top-10 finish in the event - a tie for fourth in 2013 - since his victory seven years ago and missed the cut last year when it was staged in Cologne.

"The week after a Major can sometimes be a quite difficult, especially with a nine-hour time difference," he said, "so I'm sure I'll feel a little tired but I won't need any extra motivation to get into the right mindset this week."

Stenson, who won in Munich in 2006, was joint leader after an opening 65 at Chambers Bay but faded to a tie for 27th and memorably compared the greens to "putting on broccoli".

While Padraig Harrington is part of a strong Travelers Championship field in Cromwell, Connecticut this week, Lowry is joined in Munich by five other Irish players: Damien McGrane, Darren Clarke, Michael Hoey, Kevin Phelan and Peter Lawrie.

Meanwhile, the winner of this year's British Open at St Andrews will earn more than £1m for the first time. The overall prize fund has increased £900,000 to £6.3m, with the champion receiving £1,150,000. That is £175,000 more than Rory McIlroy won last year.

BMW International Open Live, Sky Sports 4, 10.30am/2.30pm

Travelers Championship Live, Sky Sports 4, 8.30pm

Irish Independent

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