Thursday 17 January 2019

Lowry targets big week at 'fifth Major' to turn things around

Shane Lowry is firmly focused on this week’s challenge. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Shane Lowry is firmly focused on this week’s challenge. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Shane Lowry's short game may not be as sharp as it was when he won the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and moved to 19th in the world but there's nothing wrong with his memory.

Ranked 90th in the world and without a top-10 finish since he tied for second behind this week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open defending champion Jon Rahm in the season-ending World Tour Championship last year, the Clara man has been around long enough to know everything can change with one bold step forward.

Whether he can cross his personal Rubicon in Ballyliffin remains to be seen, but the 2009 champion freely admits that his patience is "wearing thin" and that something will have to give soon before he sits down at the end of the season and re-assesses the wisdom of playing on both sides of the pond.

Ranked 109th for strokes gained around the greens on the PGA Tour this year compared to 59th three years ago, he said: "Listen, I've been waiting, and I've been trying to be as patient as I can for the last year and a half or so, but my patience is wearing thin.

"I just have to keep at it, keep trucking along and see what happens in the next few weeks and then kind of reassess from there.

"I know my World ranking is dropping, but it's not like it's 500. It's 90. But I'm in a few big tournaments the next couple of weeks.

"I remember back in 2015, I was not in a similar boat but wasn't far off, and all of a sudden you win in Akron and you're the best player in the world, and things are going great.

"I feel like that's the way golf is. I really feel like I just have to wait for my week to happen."

Admitting he's lost some of his effectiveness around the greens, he added: "I work on my short game as much as I can but it hasn't been great for the last year and a half, and that's probably where my golf has probably slipped up a little bit.

"Around the greens, I just haven't been the Shane Lowry that was three or four years ago, but I'm trying my best. I'm working on what I feel are the right things."

He regards the Irish Open as his fifth Major and would love nothing better than to give the home fans something to cheer about on Sunday.

"I am really coming here with my eyes set on being there on Sunday and giving myself a chance and giving the Irish people something to cheer about," he said.

"I'd really love to win this again, so it is as big as any Major to me.

"I treat it like a Major and I would give anything (to be in the final group on Sunday)."

Irish Independent

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