Wednesday 23 October 2019

Only green jacket could top Open success, insists Lowry

Shane Lowry. Photo: Sportsfile
Shane Lowry. Photo: Sportsfile

Brian Keogh

While Shane Lowry admits that a Masters win is the only thing that could top winning The Open, the Clara man insists the Ryder Cup remains his number one goal for now.

Having smoothed the path ahead by winning the Claret Jug to secure his spot in all the top events, he knows he can't afford to repeat past mistakes and try too hard now.

"I was never really in line to make the one in France," he said. "I wasn't playing great. But the one before that, I felt like I should have made. I just put too much pressure on myself.

"After the US Open at Oakmont, I was almost on the team. I had four tournaments left. If I had played some half-decent golf, I felt like I might have got on the team, or even got a pick."

Winning the BMW PGA at Wentworth - where he partners Rory McIlroy and 2018 Open champion Francesco Molinari this week - would be the perfect first step on the road to Whistling Straits. But while there is now talk of multiple Major wins, he knows he doesn't have to change his game to give himself more chances.

"Well, I just won The Open," said Lowry, who was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour yesterday. "I don't think I need to do anything differently. I just need to be myself.

"You win (Major), and people ask you when you're going to win your next one.

"I'm going to enjoy this one. Thankfully we don't have another Major for a while, but I think the only thing that could come close to doing what I did in Portrush would be, you know, the green jacket."

Faced with what he described as a "pinch me" moment when he sees the Claret Jug on the kitchen counter every morning, he's knows his game is good enough to win more Majors.

"If I'm playing good, it doesn't matter what course I'm on," he said.

"Hopefully, at some stage over the next 10 or 15 years, I'll put myself in the position a few times and maybe win another one."

Meanwhile, Ireland's Olivia Mehaffey, Annabel Wilson and Julie McCarthy have been named in the preliminary Curtis Cup squad for next year's clash with the USA at Conwy.

In the Senior Home Internationals at Alnmouth, Ireland suffered a disappointing 6-3 opening day defeat to hosts England as Scotland beat Wales 5.5-3.5.

Meanwhile, Kerryman Mark Kennelly, the former chief of staff at the department of the Taoiseach during the term of Enda Kenny from 2011 to 2017, has been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer of Golf Ireland - the new governing body for men and women set to go live on January 1, 2021.

Irish Independent

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