Lowly Lowry in race to make Dubai tee-off

Shane Lowry’s goal to end the year inside the world’s top 50 and earn a Masters invitation has been derailed after the reigning Portugal Masters champion had to be rushed to a local hospital in Dubai.

Lowry, currently ranked 57th in the world, was experiencing severe headaches and vomiting on Monday night and was in so much discomfort, he was hospitalised on Tuesday for some three hours.

“Shane was pretty sick and so much so we had him taken to hospital here in Dubai,” said Conor Ridge, his Horizon Sport manager.

“The doctors believe he must have picked up a virus. He was put on a drip for dehydration and the doctors here in Dubai conducted a battery of tests and then after three hours he was released from hospital.

“So we’re hoping he will be okay to tee up in the event but then he was struggling yesterday and we’ll just have to wait and see how he responds to the medication.”

And Lowry is not the only Irishman battling illness. Reigning Hassan 11 Trophy winner, Michael Hoey has only just managed to shake off the effects of a nasty ear infection he picked up while swimming in a hotel pool in Chiangmai, Thailand.

Hoey and his wife travelled to the largest city in northern Thailand when he failed to qualify for the recent WGC–HSBC Champions event in China.

“It’s taken two weeks for me to recover but I’m feeling much better,” he said.

“The swimming pool at the hotel was just a bit dirty and I also believe I didn’t get the right medicine from the doctor as my balance was affected and it meant also having to take last week’s Hong Kong Open off.

“I first had trouble in flying down to Singapore what with the cabin pressure and I just started feeling a bit funny and had a lot of trouble sleeping.

“But there are worse things in life than having to pull out of a tournament.”

Joining Lowry, Hoey, Rory McIlroy and newly-engaged Graeme McDowell in the field is Pádraig Harrington and with wife Caroline lending approval for him to continue sporting his ‘Movember’ awareness moustache.

Harrington’s been sporting the moustache since contesting last fortnight’s Barclays Singapore Open with many of the caddies suggesting he looks like Chopper Reid, the infamous Australian underworld character that became the subject of the feature film, Chopper.

“Caroline is quite happy with it now but what pushed her over the edge is that someone who has prostate cancer pointed out that it’s doing good things,” said Harrington.

“Somebody suffering from the cancer gave her a few words of encouragement and she said ‘you know what, why would you stop doing something like that’.

“Obviously, it was a bit of fun at the time but she’s certainly behind the sentiment of it.”

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