Sunday 18 March 2018

Lowry will learn lessons and win multiple Majors

Shane Lowry during the US Open
Shane Lowry during the US Open

Joe Molloy

Bobby Jones once said: "I never learned anything from a match that I won".

Shane Lowry learned plenty on Sunday evening in Oakmont. Perhaps the most telling analysis came inadvertently from Lowry himself. Midway through the round he turned to his caddie, Dermot Byrne, and said "It's all just too fast".

Things will get fast again the next time.

Before the round he admitted he was nervous. A four-shot lead after three rounds at the US Open easily becomes a burden.

For inspiration, he can look at eventual winner Dustin Johnson. From Pebble Beach to Whistling Straits to Royal St George's to Chambers Bay, Johnson has found novel ways to defeat himself.

It's a well-worn pattern in golf. Eventually, you become accustomed to the white heat and learn how to survive when rhythm is hard to come by.

Lowry is close. Butch Harmon said his chipping was as good as anyone he'd seen, ever. As much as anything, he just needs to find the resolve to keep putting himself in positions where a painful runners-up finish is a distinct possibility.

Jack Nicklaus finished second at Majors 19 times. Pádraig Harrington was Mr Second Place for a long time. Some players shy away from those positions after a few tough disappointments. For sure, Lowry has missed a big chance to chalk up a dream win. But it won't be his last chance. The loveable personality sometimes distracts us from a serious golf game.

I'm more certain than ever Lowry will win more than one Major. And the first will be incredibly sweet.

Irish Independent

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