Saturday 25 May 2019

Lowry hails his 'idol' Tiger but admits he needs mental edge

Shane Lowry: I played great when I was completely out of the tournament. Photo: Matt Slocum/AP
Shane Lowry: I played great when I was completely out of the tournament. Photo: Matt Slocum/AP

Brian Keogh

Shane Lowry was disappointed to miss the cut in the Masters but inspired by Tiger Woods he's optimistic about his game ahead of the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head.

"Tiger Woods was my idol growing up and the main reason I got into golf," Lowry said in his blog for sponsors Paddy Power. "It's phenomenal what Tiger did at the weekend - the whole world was probably rooting for him. I certainly was. I was going to stay on until Monday. I'd said if Tiger was winning, I would go up to the clubhouse to try and watch it there.

"But with the storms forecast we drove down from Augusta on Sunday afternoon to Harbour Town and I listened to the back nine in the car. I never thought golf could be so exciting to listen to on the radio, but it was!"

Surprised

He added: "I don't think anyone at the top of the game was really that surprised he won."

Lowry reckons Woods can beat Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Major wins "for sure" but when it comes to his own golf, he knows he needs to improve his mental game.

"I just need to find something internally, mentally, that'll make me a little bit better," said Lowry, who plays the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with Pádraig Harrington next week before turning his attention to the US PGA and the US Open.

"When I was completely out of the tournament on Friday, I played great golf on the back nine. I just need to look at playing golf more freely, and not sort of worrying about the outcome or the results.

"The last eight holes were as good as I've played all year, so that's kind of the way I have to look at it. I feel like I have all the shots and I have what it takes."

Tied 44th on his debut at Harbour Town Golf Links two years ago, he's joined in Hilton Head by debutant Seamus Power and 2013 winner Graeme McDowell, who is looking to build on his victory in the Corales Puntacana Resort Championship.

Masters contenders Francesco Molinari, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and Xander Schauffele are also in a star-studded field that features 53 of the world's top-100 and 24 of the top 50.

"It was obviously intense last week," said Molinari, who ended up tied for fifth in the Masters after collapsing on the back nine. "I guess the biggest challenge this week is to recover from last week. It was a draining week, and I need to get some energies back."

On the LPGA Tour, Stephanie Meadow returned to action in the LOTTE Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii late last night.

At the 54-hole PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School, just five of the 14-strong Irish challenge qualified for today's final round at Frilford Heath.

PGA Catalunya's Luke Donnelly is tied for 13th on four-under after a 69, five shots behind leader Josh Loughrey in the race for 30 Category 3 cards.

Neil O'Briain is tied 31st after a 73 with Headfort's Joe Dillon joint 49th on one-under after a 71. Naas' Conor O'Rourke shot 74 and shares 55th on level par with Bushfoot amateur Owen Crooks, who followed a 67 with a 77.

  • RBC Heritage, Live, Sky Sports Golf, 8.0pm

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