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‘You’re Rory f***ing McIlroy – go out and show it’ – Shane Lowry reveals how he inspired his friend on final day of Ryder Cup

Offaly star refuses to accept the Americans are set for a new era of dominance


Shane Lowry, right, hugs Rory McIlroy on the 16th green after losing his match to Patrick Cantlay. Photo: Warren Little

Shane Lowry, right, hugs Rory McIlroy on the 16th green after losing his match to Patrick Cantlay. Photo: Warren Little

Shane Lowry, right, hugs Rory McIlroy on the 16th green after losing his match to Patrick Cantlay. Photo: Warren Little

Shane Lowry revealed how he took a leaf out of JP Fitzgerald’s book and inspired Rory McIlroy to restore some pride with an emphatic singles win at Whistling Straits.

The Clara man was a revelation for Pádraig Harrington’s outclassed European side, rebelling against Patrick Cantlay’s rabble-rousing antics before going down 4&2 to the FedEx Cup champion.

Lowry cried on Sunday as Europe were handed a painful, 19-9 thrashing – something he didn’t do even after winning The Open at Royal Portrush or welcoming his second daughter Ivy into the world earlier this month.

He refuses to accept the Americans are set for a new era of dominance and admitted he had to remind a downcast McIlroy he was a four-time Major winner before the Holywood star took down Xander Schauffele 3&2.

It was a repeat of the first round of The Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017 when McIlroy made five bogeys in the first six holes and caddie Fitzgerald bellowed, “You’re Rory McIlroy, what the f**k are you doing?”

Asked about American claims that this is a new dynasty, he said: “Ah, f**k that. We’ve got top players. I said to Rory McIlroy before we went out this morning. ‘You’re Rory f**king McIlroy. You’re already one of the best players of all time, and you’re 32. Go and show it today.’ And he did.

“Jon Rahm. Jon Rahm is going to win 10 Majors. He’s one of the best golfers you’ve ever seen, Poults today, never beaten in singles. Viktor Hovland. We’ve so much talent there. No doubt, there’s going to be a good few of us on the team next time and a few others. Everyone there will be good enough to win the Ryder Cup.”

Lowry bristled as Cantlay fist-pumped after knocking in a par putt at the eighth and tried to whip the crowd into a frenzy as Lowry stood over a five-footer for a half, then knocked it in and did some mock fist-pumping of his own. “I got a little bit annoyed on the eighth,” he admitted. “It was f**king annoying. I’m all for winning gracefully, winning in the right way.

“I thought I holed that putt on nine (he had a 360-degree lip-out), and I was going to go f**king bananas, lads. I was walking it in. It was going to be one of those. I managed to birdie 10 and win 12, and then he just birdied 14, 15 and 16.

“Look, you’re playing one of the best players in the world and a guy on form as well. Turning to home on 14, you know you’ve to birdie three of the last five holes, and I just didn’t do that.”

The Ryder Cup surpassed Lowry’s expectations, and he can’t wait to make a second appearance in Rome in 2023.

“I came here with an open mind, and it was the best time of my life,” he said. “I’ve loved every single minute of it. I loved being a part of this team playing with such legends of European golf, being a part of Paddy’s team.

“I feel very disappointed for Pádraig. He doesn’t deserve this. He’s one of the greatest players ever from Europe. One of Ireland’s best-ever sportsmen. One of my best friends and I’m so disappointed that I couldn’t do better for him.

“Look, I got things out of this week I’ll look back on. The 18th hole yesterday, holing that putt under that pressure is huge for me. It’s been an unreal week – I can’t describe how good it’s been, and we’ve been absolutely hammered.

“Speaking from a golfer’s personal point of view, [the result] was closer than people might think it is. Friday was very disappointing, giving them all the momentum. They holed the putts, got all the breaks. Everything they did went well for them.

“There’s no doubt I’ll have a few more of these left in me. I never want to miss one of these again. I feel I’ve a lot more to give to this tournament.”

He didn’t want to second-guess Harrington’s decision to sit him for the foursomes and admitted he enjoyed the buzz of the Ryder Cup, it will be a struggle to get used to individual strokeplay and a return to normality at Carnoustie in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday.

“Look, I’d obviously wanted to play more,” he said. “Everyone there wants to play more. We were told what the story was and I fully trusted everything that he did. I’ve nothing to say about that. We were just outplayed.

“Statistically, they were the greatest American team that ever played in the Ryder Cup. It was so hard as Europeans trying to play in front of those fans against those players, playing the way they were. We tried as best we could and it just wasn’t good enough.

“I can’t believe there are no tournaments like this for another two years. I can’t believe I’ve got to go and play individual tournaments. I don’t know what I’m going to do. You wouldn’t believe the experience I’ve had this week.”

He’ll be 36 in 2023 and believes he can be one of the team’s leaders in Rome.

“I think I can bring a lot,” he said. “I feel I can maybe be there for them, put an arm around the shoulder. Look at Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, two of the best players in the world. You see what it means to them.”

As for his tears, he said: “I cried today. I didn’t cry when I won The Open. I’d another daughter a few weeks ago. Wendy is probably going to give me s**t for this, but I didn’t cry.”

Winning a point in the fourballs with Tyrrell Hatton on Saturday night remains a highlight, but it was so tough to get, even making six birdies, that it summed up the task Europe faced.

“Yeah, G-Mac said to me, ‘How hard is it to get a point here?’ It’s so hard. You’re playing against the best players in the world.

“I can’t describe the feelings I’ve had this week. I am who I am. I wish golf was a team game. I’d love to be part of a team every week. It’s very individually based. That’s the way it is. God, I’d love to have this experience every week.”

As for the American performance, he felt the key was the two session defeats on day one.

‘Without making excuses, I feel they got a lot of breaks the first day,” he said. “The first day killed us, 6-2 down after the first day, always going to be a tall order against these lads.”

As he was speaking, the celebrating US team trooped past him, one of the US players playfully spanking him on the backside.

“Walking past me, slapping my a**e,” Lowry bristled. “I will be in Rome, and we will win it back. That’s all I can say. My whole goal over the next two years is to be part of that team and to win that trophy. Obviously, I want to win tournaments, and majors but I really want to win one of these.”

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