Lowry eager to compete in Tiger's event
Tiger Woods has confirmed the next event on his comeback will be at Riviera Country Club in February and that could be good news for Shane Lowry.
Woods played his first tournament in 16 months at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month and his next competitive appearance will be at The Genesis Open, formerly the Northern Trust Open, from February 16-19.
The tournament is hosted by Tiger's Foundation, and Riviera CC, at Pacific Palisades in California, is one of the iconic venues on the PGA Tour.
Shane Lowry is playing there for the first time, and if he could beg, borrow, or steal his way into playing alongside Tiger, it would be a double bonus.
Lowry has not previously played Riviera and is booked to play the tournament as the last in a run of four events - the Farmers Insurance Open, Waste Management Phoenix Open, At&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and then the Genesis Open.
The Clara native watched Woods' comeback in the 18-man Hero World Challenge and was impressed. He was one of millions who watched the event worldwide on television.
Clearly the Tiger factor can still have a big effect on TV viewing figures.
"That's why we need him. I'm quite excited to have him back in the game. I've actually never played with him, and all I want to do is play with him once.
"I started watching golf in the late nineties and Tiger Woods was just coming along. Obviously he's probably one of the main reasons why I started playing the game," said Lowry in a Newstalk interview.
That opening three months of 2017 will be an interesting period for Lowry.
He hopes to find a good vein of form through his four events in the USA, starting on January 26 at Torrey Pines to February 19 when the Genesis Open finishes before taking a break ahead of the anticipated arrival of his and wife Wendy's first child in late February/early March.
Meanwhile, Woods spoke enthusiastically about his next appearance as a player on Tour.
"I'm very excited to come back to Riviera and compete in the Genesis Open.
"This is where it all started for me. It was my first PGA Tour event. I was 16 years old, I weighed about 105 pounds. It was a life-changing moment for me," he said.
Most golfers are on their holidays now but Irish international and winning Curtis Cup team member Maria Dunne is playing in the 100th Usha All India Ladies Amateur championship in Delhi, India.
The Skerries golfer carded rounds of 79 and 72, including three birdies in the last six holes of the second round, to finish fourth in the qualifying series. She plays in round one of the matchplay section today.