Tuesday 12 November 2019

Lowry focused on Race points instead of chasing dollars


Ireland's Shane Lowry. Photo: Ng Han Guan/AP Photo
Ireland's Shane Lowry. Photo: Ng Han Guan/AP Photo

Brian Keogh

Shane Lowry has no plans to jeopardise his 2020 Ryder Cup campaign by chasing millions around the world during what Ernie Els once dubbed "wheelbarrow" season.

The Open champion wants to put in big performances in this week's Turkish Airlines Open and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in a fortnight and hope that's good enough to cap a memorable year by being crowned European No 1.

While his decision not to shadow Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger to Sun City next week for the Nedbank Golf Challenge could be interpreted by some as waving the white flag, the Offaly man has his eye on the bigger picture.

Not only has he opted not to go to the Gary Player Country Club -a venue where he has broken 70 just once in 16 rounds- he's also turned down a guaranteed $100,000 to play Tiger Woods' 18-man Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, a potentially lucrative trip to the Emirates Australian Open and the PGA Tour's Sentry Tournament of Champions.

With the Claret Jug on his kitchen sideboard, winning the Race to Dubai would not change what's already a dream season. But he still insists he'll be giving it his all before he begins a much-needed seven-week break before reappearing on January 16 to defend the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

"The main objective for the next two tournaments is to try and win the Race to Dubai," Lowry said.

"People might argue that if you are trying to win the Race to Dubai, you should be going to Sun City. But I think it is all going to come down to who plays the best in Dubai really.

While he is third in the Race to Dubai, just 651.1 points behind Wiesberger with 1,500 points on offer for the winner this week and even more points for the winners in Sun City and Dubai, he's not putting himself under undue pressure.

"I think it would be the icing on the cake," he said. "I'm going to give it my best shot but if I don't win it, I won't be too disappointed. I've had a decent year and I'd be pretty happy with what I've got at Christmas."

"It is very difficult to turn down the offers that you get. There are events in Australia, and you could down there and chase a bit of money but looking at the bigger picture,

"I have to do what's best for me. It's going to be a busy season next year, so maybe it will stand to me around Augusta time or around the PGA."

Irish Independent

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