Shane Lowry qualifies for US Open to cap magic weekend
OFFALY’S Shane Lowry has won a place in next month’s US Open after a strong performance in a regional qualifier in the UK today.
Lowry finished second to Rory McIlroy in the PGA Championships at Wentworth yesterday and capped a fantastic weekend by posting a total of eight under for two rounds at the qualifier in Walton Heath in Surrey today.
The €500,000 cheque for his PGA finish will pale beside a place at Pinehurst in North Carolina in June but he insists he is going there with the intention of competing with the best.
He told Sky Sports News: "I am really looking forward to it. Majors are the tournaments I want to be playing in and right now it looks as though I am going to have a good run of them."
"I felt very comfortable (at the PGA) competing down the stretch with Rory McIlroy, Thomas Bjorn and Luke Donald. I felt like I was meant to be there. I was very comfortable and confident in myself."
Lowry has risen to 74th place in the world rankings after his excellent show at Wentworth, a jump of 68 places.
At a rainy Walton Heath today, he shot a three-under 69 on the New Course before carding a five-under 67 on the Old Course.
Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington missed out on a place at Pinehurst after opening with a 75 and finishing with a 71.
A downcast Harrington said: "There is nothing to take away from today bar, you have a go and that's it. I need a week off now to have a bit of a rest. I see some good stuff in my game at times. Today it definitely wasn't good. But I am putting that down to a bit of fatigue because it's been a long couple of weeks.
"I am really positive about things, trying to stay confident. That's the most important thing — trying to stay upbeat and let it happen."
McIlroy's victory at Wentworth lifted the 25-year-old from 10th to sixth in the latest world rankings and boosted his confidence ahead of the year's second major at Pinehurst from June 12-15.
"I think the win at the end of last year in Australia stopped all the questions about equipment and about struggling and a slump and all this stuff," the former world number one said.