Sport Golf

Monday 16 September 2019

Harrington warns Lowry over facing Major pressure

Shane Lowry. Photo: Getty Images
Shane Lowry. Photo: Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Shane Lowry faces his first pressure tournament as a major winner in this week's BMW Championship at Medinah.

He must finish solo 29th if he's to make the top 30 in the FedExCup standings who qualify for next week's Tour Championship in Atlanta.

It's not even close to the nerve-shredding pressure he faced when leading The Open at Royal Portrush.

But as Pádraig Harrington pointed out after winning three majors in 13 months, winning a major can warp a player's perspective.

"It possibly makes golf harder," Harrington said. "There's no doubt about it. When you've won majors, you're trying to live up to that, and I've watched from the outside with so many other players and said, well, I'm not going to make that mistake.

"The pressure has damaged many people's careers," he said. "You can look at the guys who are one-time major winners and they spend the rest of their life trying to justify it."

Third-ranked Rory McIlroy is seeking his third win of the season and the chance to start the Tour Championship at number one in the standings while 64th ranked Graeme McDowell knows he must finish solo third make it for the first time.

Harrington, who is joined at the D+D Real Czech Masters by Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan, is looking to go one better than last year's runner-up finish to Italian Andrea Pavan.

At home, host of Irish players will be in action in the ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women at Galgorm Castle and Massereene.

For the first time on European soil, the event brings men and women together on the same courses to compete in their respective tournaments for separate trophies and an equal share of the $500,000 prize fund.

Leona Maguire, Stepanie Meadow and Charley Hull are three of the stars in the women's event while Michael Hoey and Cormac Sharvin spearhead the home bid in the Challenge Tour event.

BMW Championship, 8.0pm; Czech Masters, 10am. Both Sky Sports Golf

Irish Independent

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