€1.7m man: Shane Lowry places trust in those closest to him - and it pays off
It was just after half eight yesterday morning when Lowry's coach Neil Manchip stood in the Spar shop in Bushmills, picking his way through the sports...
It was just after half eight yesterday morning when Lowry's coach Neil Manchip stood in the Spar shop in Bushmills, picking his way through the sports...
Striding down 18, a great bombardment of sound delivering him home, Shane Lowry became...
Shane Lowry said he was "shaking" on Thursday's first tee, but there was little evidence of nerves on Saturday, the Offaly man producing the greatest...
He knew the ghost of Oakmont would insinuate its way into the room - it always does. Shane Lowry met it with an easy smile. The story of the 2016 US Open sticks to him like a catheter it seems, an...
Shane Lowry is adamant that old wounds won't open as he heads in to the weekend as joint leader of the 148th Open Championship.
The sterile detail of their summer eviction will be easily forgotten, but not the ovation spilling down on Laois hurlers as they disappeared from sight beneath the Hogan Stand.
On Wednesday morning, his attention drawn to the Facebook comments of a former Dublin hurler, Niall Corcoran felt a need to ring Mattie Kenny.
So hurling's supposed problem child tore up the script in Portlaoise, flooring not just Dublin, but all our assumptions too about a group endlessly held back by careless use of timber and a liking for the night.
Laois hurlers caused the shock of the summer in O'Moore Park today, storming into their first All-Ireland quarter-final since 1979 with a famous victory over Dublin.
Maybe the real work of Colm Collins' life will only be apparent in the disorientation inevitable when his time with Clare is over.
Unbeaten Tipperary secured the perfect route into this year's Munster final with a deserved victory...
Michael Ryan could hear it in Tipperary this week, a gusting, schizophrenic breeze, rippling between bullishness and anxiety.
Mick McCarthy's voice stayed urgent, seats emptying behind him, a rattling chain still...
Their minds black with the thought of what a defeat would bring, Limerick were hard and...
All-Ireland champions, Limerick, met the threat of Championship eviction with a thunderous response in LIT Gaelic Grounds today, crushing their...
The ghosts of Oakmont were silent as a six-birdie blitz in the opening ten holes catapulted Shane Lowry to the top of The Open leaderboard today.
The shot might have happened out of time, a low Ulster sky trapping Portrush's expectant roars and tossing them back down upon the faithful in a hushed confusion.
It was a shot seen around the world, an ugly, hooked iron from Rory McIlroy that essentially flew out of the golf course, instantly ruining his hopes of winning a fifth major.
'This is bigger than me, right?" he asked, repeating his words with the enunciation of a newsreader.
Mid-morning in Portrush and, drumming his fingers on the dais, Tiger Woods slips instantly into a game with the photographers at the back of the interview room.
They needed the jam wiped from their mouths in the end, these remarkable young bucks for whom history is a cliche they choose to leave at the door. John Kiely's boys are different and their people know it.
Limerick will carry the authentic stamp of champions into their All-Ireland defence, having secured a clean sweep of the major titles available to them by pulverising Tipperary to secure their 20th Munster senior crown at LIT Gaelic Grounds today.
In the summer of 2010, Liam Sheedy seeded Tipperary's training games with assorted interns from outside. If he wanted heat, he knew a few club men who'd provide it free of any recklessness. Fast hands and feet? Ken Hogan's formidable U-21s. The trick was to simulate every potential challenge; anticipate any likely puzzle looming.
Eamonn O'Brien wasn't much of a mind this week to sentimentalise the last great Leinster football ambush.
So Tipperary's perfect summer arcs towards a Munster final and, maybe, something more earthy and elemental now.
In Clare, the modern fashion has been to pine for direct, single-syllable hurling whenever something seems broken in the team.
In the Cusack Park medical-room, Liam Sheedy sits on a table, patting down any yeast of giddiness he can sense expand around his team.
Tipperary maintained their devastating start to this Championship by blitzing Clare in Ennis to effectively storm into the Munster final with a game to spare.
He could have slipped away unnoticed, lost somewhere behind hurling's back. Aaron Gillane, just another silhouette, another rumour.
There was little art or contentment on show in Salthill yesterday, where a familiar wind, scudding in off the ocean, ran amok with the maps in both manager's minds.
A storming second-half comeback earned Wexford another precious Leinster Championship point in Pearse Stadium, though they left the West knowing it could have been so much better.
Six months short of his 60th birthday, Paul McGrath sits in the lobby of a northside hotel, sounding like an accidental tourist in someone else's story.
Paraic Fanning leans against the cold stone, breathing deeply. He is courteous and respectful towards inquisitors, but his expression is that of a man who suspects water cannons and tear gas couldn't have changed the story here.
A rampant Tipperary sent out of a resounding championship warning in Thurles today with this 18-point destruction of Waterford.
In racing, misgivings run for as long as you care to listen, but maybe the most resilient always finds a way back to that natural urge of genuflecting to its powerful owners.
The venue itself was a raised fist of Waterford defiance, but all those old sounds coursing through Walsh Park yesterday settled on uncomplicated Banner candour in the end.
Clare survived a storming late finish from Waterford to get their bid for a first Munster senior hurling title in 21 years off to a flier in Walsh Park.
The door shuts, but the gym sounds follow her here, into this narrow, cream-walled room; a whistling, clicking rope; a bag jolting to the fire of hard, unchallenged fists; young feet sinking into canvas; a bell.
The expression fell from so many lips last night it all but carried the urgent tone of a church psalm being recited. Ruby, they said, was "getting out in one piece".
The length of Tiger Woods's shadow obscured any other narrative rolling up out of Augusta on Sunday night, so frustration at another lost Major for Rory McIlroy never quite found compelling traction.
The great migration to see Tiger Woods climb the hill up Augusta's 18th spoke less of a desire to witness a tournament win than an historical event.
The final round of the Masters is set to be moved forward significantly due to the forecast of severe weather at Augusta National.
Just after 2pm local time, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry walked past Augusta National's great, old oak, moving in different directions.
The US Masters can get away from you quicker than a windswept bank-note and that's what befell Shane Lowry during the course of his ugly opening round of 78 yesterday.
Rory McIlroy was left with a massive job on his hands after dual US Open champion Brooks Koepka and 'science nerd' Bryson DeChambeau put down stunning first round markers at Augusta National.
In Michael Bamberger's classic book 'Men in Green', Arnold Palmer is quoted on how golf's Majors eventually belittle even the greats of the game.
Rory McIlroy has vowed to shut out thoughts of the career Grand Slam as he makes his 11th bid for a Masters green jacket this week.
Shane Lowry awoke to a morning of inky, rain-sodden stasis in North Georgia yesterday, but declared himself untroubled by the loss of practice hours for his fourth US Masters.
Last Monday morning Canada's Corey Conners was battling with 72 others to earn one of four spots in the Texas Open. Yesterday morning, he was getting ready to tee it up at Augusta.
The man who made golf cool stops under the old oak for a fleeting, pre-planned Kodak moment with some of Fred Couples's friends that extends to precisely seven seconds.
April again then and the drum roll for Augusta feels like another journey inside his speeding mind.
The most hopeful, committed Irish football fan I’ve known didn’t make it to the Aviva last night.
We can dispense with the more intimate nuances of battle here, for there were - essentially - none.
The sight of Joe Canning being stretchered down the tunnel of the Ted Carroll stand compounded Galway frustrations in Kilkenny yesterday after a National League semi-final defeat to Waterford.
So after a week lost to a blizzard of explanations and clarifications, the FAI's gift - as ever - is to leave its audience squinting. That gentle, administrative glitch of a week ago somehow tripwired a convulsive series of statements (seven in eight days) culminating with the breaking story of John Delaney's curiously rushed re-deployment.
The clubhouse walls in Mount Sion are prolifically collaged with snapshots of old glory, but pride in Páraic Fanning runs to a deeper, less glamorous space.
The post-game player interviews are conducted at the bottom of a broad, dressing-room stairs under a solemn, impressionist-style portrait of the Queen.
"I think I owed it to the horse," Paul Townend announced, a giddy enclosure tightening incoherently around him.
Just as the ghosts of this place were slipping out of Aidan Coleman's world, he reached out and pulled one close.
Among the starved poets of this world, Keith Donoghue now has laureate status.
Gavin Cromwell's grin has a bemused, almost goofy quality as he's asked to explain the audacity of what Espoir D'Allen just did in this rain-sodden English valley.
Less than a minute into 'Don't Judge Me', the Laochra Gael documentary on Kieran Duff, three separate voices have essentially already done precisely that.
Bryan Adams' Summer of '69 blared out with wicked irony from the Wexford dressing-room, a boom-box smirk at the kind of March day that would have had Tom Crean taking refuge in a duvet.
Wexford marched into the National Hurling League quarter-finals with a stunning second-half demolition of old Leinster rivals, Kilkenny, at Innovate Wexford Park today.
He's trouble this one, a self-suiting reprobate who'll have no qualms about taking a swing if you get too close.
Davy Fitzgerald applauded a victory for "common sense" in referee Alan Kelly's decision to postpone the Wexford-Kilkenny Allianz Hurling League Division 1A game scheduled for Innovate Wexford Park yesterday.
On Sunday, Jackie Tyrrell was of the view that Kilkenny might finally have found a gatekeeper with the cold prudence to satisfy Brian Cody.
So a rollicking repudiation in the All-Ireland champions' back yard of any notion that Cork maybe regard a good league run as something that might leave them prone to travel sickness.
All-Ireland champions, Limerick, suffered their first League defeat of the season in a rip-roaring contest against Munster rivals, Cork, at the Gaelic Grounds today.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refers to it as "an environment with inner justice", a place forever juggling adult stresses with back-of-the-schoolbus immaturities.
Jessica Harrington emits a weather-proofed smile, reminding us of a place that seems so profoundly last century now.
Billy O'Sullivan was 33 years old and feeling every day of it the last and only other time Ballygunner tried to climb this mountain.
Former Irish Formula One driver, Derek Daly, has filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against the television station he spent 30 years broadcasting for in the US.
They delivered both Vunipola brothers to the mixed-zone like circus strongmen invited to explain their gift for ripping decks of cards in two or snapping heavy chains with rib cages.
The hope in Tipperary is that the second coming of Seamie Callanan is still in its first act.
He went home last July, back to the High School in Palmerston North where he'd taught for eight years and taken his first, reluctant steps as a rugby coach. And Joe Schmidt spoke to the students about leadership, about the cold winds that go gusting through young men's lives.
If a single moment could distil Kilkenny's trust in a single faith, maybe it was what Billy Ryan did on the stroke of half-time in a refrigerated Nowlan Park yesterday.
Defending champions, Kilkenny, got their National League campaign off to a flier in Nowlan Park with a comfortable dismissal of age-old rivals, Cork.
John Kiely knows the trap here, the insidious way champions get fed so much fiction about themselves and how giving hubris its head now will mean this story is over.
On the recent night in Thurles that Tipperary's All-Ireland U-21 winners were presented with their medals, the words of team manager Liam Cahill carried a jolting resonance.
In Clare's modern hurling relationship with Tipperary, even the shadow-boxing has a capacity to exercise rogue hormones.
In Paris last September, Pádraig Harrington was an unusually closed, zipped-up figure, retaining what felt a stage-directed distance from journalists at Le Golf National.
It was March last in New Hampshire when Billy Walsh was finally re-assured that his divorce from Irish boxing had lit the touchpaper on revolution.
The lost days are a blessing to Seán Treacy now, lending his brush with death an oddly distant, even rumoured quality. The nothingness of 10 days in an induced coma protected him physically then, mentally now. While family kept fearful vigil by his bedside, all of his major organs failing, Treacy's sense of it is that he was utterly at peace. When he finally woke on Sunday, February 10, 2013,...
The joke was that Ray Houghton couldn't actually head the ball, that his goal in Stuttgart was some kind of aberration, a suspension of reality.
In a neatly sardonic twist, David Moyes's final game as Manchester United manager was at Goodison Park, against his former employers, Everton.
Jurgen Klopp knew the Paul Pogba question was coming, packed tight with a thousand subtle trip-wires.
When chasing down history, maybe the first thing to do is disregard it. Or, maybe more accurately, to de-mythologise the people who set themselves apart. To stop seeing them as an alien species.
Henry Shefflin stands under a low December sky, smiling that wise smile of his as the miracle of Ballyhale unwraps another chapter.
Ballyhale Shamrocks extended their remarkable record to nine Leinster club titles with a convincing victory over Dublin's Ballyboden St Enda's at Netwatch Dr Cullen Park.
On Sunday, the photographers didn't see Robbie Keane slip inconspicuously into a front-row seat for Irish football's latest coronation.
It was closing on 5pm in the photographers' room when John Delaney settled for the interrogation he always knew was coming, his back to the lockers, a black leather stool pushed tight towards his knees.
Seamus Hennessy can turn an almost sanguine gaze to his mother, Josie's, passing now.
Of all the stock villains in Irish sport, none has been more derided or resilient in recent times than John Delaney.
In football, separation statements speak with a thousand tongues, so that FAI line about Martin O'Neill's reign ending by "mutual consent" maybe conveys little more than corporate politeness.
IN football, separation statements speak with a thousand tongues, so that FAI line about Martin O'Neill's reign ending by "mutual consent" maybe conveys little more than corporate politeness.
The boy in Jacob Stockdale is eternal, a human breeze forever scrambling over orchard walls, climbing trees, giggling about a classmate's attack of wind.
Mike Tyson always kept a pretty jaundiced view of the back-page community, once even declaring: “I don’t like sports, they’re social events.”
Michael Obafemi could become anything or nothing as a footballer, yet the possibilities around him all but overtook an evening compressing all the awkward energies that still cast shadow on this complex island.
The FAI has apologised to 1993 Windsor Park hero Alan McLoughlin for a "complete oversight" in not inviting him to tomorrow night's friendly against Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
The FAI has apologised to ’93 Windsor Park hero, Alan McLoughlin, for what they’ve called a 'complete oversight' in not inviting him to Thursday night’s friendly against Northern Ireland.
Just at the end of Saturday's post-match press conference, Joe Schmidt was invited to personalise the dark thunder now rolling Ireland's way. Was it, someone asked, the "great challenge" of his coaching career to line up the All Blacks in his crosshairs?
By Wednesday, Alan McLoughlin's enthusiasm for the looming anniversary was already beginning to taper. The media calls had been building, interest in that goal piqued by the symmetry of next Thursday's friendly against Northern Ireland in Dublin almost exactly 25 years on from one of the ugliest, yet most tumultuous nights in Irish sports history.
They were supposed to have retired to the reading room by now, Coolderry, this ageing team that most of Offaly imagined last spring would be relegation material.
From a world bubbling with stress, endless sacrifice and cold, cold scrutiny, from a need to hear those cheers rattle down off the grandstands, to this.
He blames himself for the day something broke in Tipperary, something that - to this day - hasn't entirely healed.
In his 1994 autobiography, Brian Clough addressed a personal dislike of Martin O'Neill's capacity to be "a bit of a smart-arse".
A single moment of refinement sufficed, a gently arced free that ran at odds with the frenzy of a clangorous evening.
On a night touted as a catharsis of sorts, Harry Arter stayed faithful to the theme, pausing in the 'mixed zone' to indulge our fascination with all that June bad weather rolling through Roy Keane's head.
Delicate crockery seldom survives this kind of day, so the joy of five in a row comes spilling out of Fergal Hartley as he talks about Ballygunner men standing up to be counted in Dungarvan.
They gathered around Tiger as if the 17th green was a church gate and he'd soon be tossing clay on a loved-one's casket.
We were back revisiting the paradox of Rory McIlroy's season last night after a day that never quite subdued the impression of a man trying to solder gaping cracks in his game.
Gnarls Barkley's 'Crazy' blared from speakers high above him as Tiger Woods came - ceremonially late - to the first tee, last of a dozen Americans to step onto the hottest spot in golf.
Bubba Watson grins as he insists, "I don't know, I was the glove guy!" - refusing to be a grass.
Le Golf National is fantasy cut from cornfields, a topography contoured by wind, sun, rain, phosphates, nitrogen and a sadist's eye.