Following on from his magnificent victory in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron earlier this year, Shane Lowry is feeling confident in his own abilities and he is setting his sights on the biggest prizes in golf. It might seem like he’s been around a long time but you have to remember that in April this year he teed it up in his first ever US Masters. Now he’s firmly inside the Top 20 players in the world, looking at the Olympics, Ryder Cup and the coveted top spot in the OWGR too, no doubt.
Currently sitting in 5th spot in the Race to Dubai but close enough to strike, Shane commented, “I am half a million behind Rory right now. I am up for having a crack at it in Dubai. The goal would be to be at the DP World Championship with a chance to win the Race to Dubai, if I win the tournament.”
A lofty ambition it has to be said, but after seeing him this season you’d not bet against him. He seems to be challenging whenever he’s in the field and if he can do it, he will definitely be in the reckoning for a Ryder Cup debut under Darren Clarke.
Lowry’s first outing of the new season on the European Tour will be at The Irish Open in the K Club in May, before that he will be plying his trade exclusively on the PGA Tour so while he definitely has Ryder Cup on his mind, he may end up seeking qualification through the World Points list rather than the European Tour Points list.
“I would hope to make the Ryder Cup on the World Points list. That’s the way I am looking at it now. If I am close to making it on the other list, I might changemy schedule a little bit to try to make it in that. I will just have to see. The Ryder Cup is a massive goal but it is not the be all and end all for next year. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing. I am playing in big enough tournaments that if I can keep playing the way I amand keep doing what I am doing, I feel I can make that team.”
Obviously, winning is always the ultimate goal and having come close at the Alfred Dunhill, where he felt he could have won if he’d had anywhere except Carnoustie on Day 1, and then coming so close
at the British Masters which he admits he definitely should have won, he will certainly find himself on the podium again before too long. “Yeah I had six weeks off and came back and enjoyed my six weeks a little too much,” he said.
“It’s hard not to after winning a tournament like that (WGC). But towards the end of it, I refocused myself, went to the Dunhill and felt like I could win. I wasn’t too happy when I saw I was at Carnoustie the first day. I just struggled that day but after that I was fine, shot 14 under the next three days and went to the British Masters feeling so confident. I was speaking to my manager Conor Ridge on the phone that week, and I said ‘I think I am going to win this week.’ I’d never said that before. But I feel like I should have won.”
He has definitely come into his own and he admits himself that he’s finding the game easy right now. “There are times when golf comes easy and times when golf is hard. At the minute, it feels like the game is easy and I just need to make sure I don’t get complacent and keep working.”We’ll watch this space with interest and see what lies ahead.
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