Saturday 23 September 2017

Shane Lowry qualifies for US Open to cap magic weekend

Shane Lowry acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during day one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Shane Lowry acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during day one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

OFFALY’S Shane Lowry has won a place in next month’s US Open after a strong performance in a regional qualifier in the UK today.

Lowry finished second to Rory McIlroy in the PGA Championships at Wentworth yesterday and capped a fantastic weekend by posting a total of eight under for two rounds at the qualifier in Walton Heath in Surrey today.

The €500,000 cheque for his PGA finish will pale beside a place at Pinehurst in North Carolina in June but he insists he is going there with the intention of competing with the best.

He told Sky Sports News: "I am really looking forward to it. Majors are the tournaments I want to be playing in and right now it looks as though I am going to have a good run of them."

"I felt very comfortable (at the PGA) competing down the stretch with Rory McIlroy, Thomas Bjorn and Luke Donald. I felt like I was meant to be there. I was very comfortable and confident in myself."

Lowry has risen to 74th place in the world rankings after his excellent show at Wentworth,  a jump of 68 places.

At a rainy Walton Heath today, he shot a three-under 69 on the New Course before carding a five-under 67 on the Old Course.

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington missed out on a place at Pinehurst after opening with a 75 and finishing with a 71.

A downcast Harrington said: "There is nothing to take away from today bar, you have a go and that's it. I need a week off now to have a bit of a rest. I see some good stuff in my game at times. Today it definitely wasn't good. But I am putting that down to a bit of fatigue because it's been a long couple of weeks.

"I am really positive about things, trying to stay confident. That's the most important thing — trying to stay upbeat and let it happen."

McIlroy's victory at Wentworth lifted the 25-year-old from 10th to sixth in the latest world rankings and boosted his confidence ahead of the year's second major at Pinehurst from June 12-15.

"I think the win at the end of last year in Australia stopped all the questions about equipment and about struggling and a slump and all this stuff," the former world number one said.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport