Shane Lowry tees it up this week at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open to start a month that could define his 2021 Race to Dubai and his career.
Shane Lowry, statements
“I go into the Irish Open every year wanting so bad to win this tournament again. At the start of the year, you’re looking at tournaments that you’d like to win and this is definitely up there with them. Obviously it would be amazing. I just want to give myself a chance. I just really, really would love the buzz to give myself a chance, and give what few people are here the chance to see me do something really cool again. It’s nice being back home. No matter where you go in the world it’s always nice to be home. Got home last week and got to see some family and friends at the weekend that I haven’t seen since Christmas, so that was nice. Coming here to play the Irish Open is exciting. It’s a tournament that obviously means a lot to me. It kickstarted my whole career with that invite I got here and winning it, so I probably do owe a lot to the tournament. It is nice to be here and it’s nice to have some good weather down here in Kilkenny and hopefully that stays for the rest of the week and we can all have a good week.”
“I think it’s just pretty cool that I’m going. Not that I want to put too much pressure on myself but I’m not going to make up the numbers. Like, I’m going to win a medal. We don’t actually come home with that many medals from Olympics as Irish athletes. So it just would be really cool to win a medal. It would be amazing. It would be a huge achievement for me and my family to be involved in that.For me growing up, I never thought I was going to be going to the Olympics, so it’s obviously new and it’s going to be pretty cool”.
Rory McIlroy talks after arrival in County Kilkenny yesterday.
“The last time I was on the 18th green here was that prize-giving ceremony. Tiger Woods won and I somehow sneaked my way under the ropes on to the back of the green. I was standing right behind him and his glove was still in his back pocket. I could have reached out and got it and ran, that would have been a good story to tell. Obviously I didn’t. It was the first time I’d seen him play live. I still remember the first shot I saw him hit, the drive at the 5th, a par five. He hit 2-iron into the green. It was so cool. I’d idolised him growing up and to actually see the man in the flesh was pretty exciting.”
“I’d made a bit of a name for myself as an amateur by then and knew Chubby (Chandler) and Darren (Clarke) so I was in the clubhouse and got to chat to Ernie when he won. It’s amazing to think it’s been 17 year. Certainly a lot’s changed for me since the last time I was here. I might as well play the Scottish as well. My original plan up until last week was us to come as a family, play here, take a week off, which is now the Scottish Open, and play the Open. With me being a sports person the restrictions are not as heavy for me as they would be for Erica and Poppy. I felt it wasn’t fair to put them through what they’d have to go through to be here with me. The plans changed very quickly and we made the decision I travel on my own. I wasn’t going to go back to the States for a week inbetween the Irish and the Open, so if I’m here I might as well play the Scottish as well. It went very quickly from them coming, to not coming and then me playing three events in a row! If anything, it’s probably worked out for the best. It’ll be nice to get a tournament on a links course before going into Sandwich. I didn’t play for a week because I was spending time with the family before being away. So I can now get to work here and in Scotland”.