Lowry encouraged by display in Abu Dhabi

Irish golfer Shane Lowry showed he belonged in the professional ranks with an assured display in Abu Dhabi last week and now aims to prove he deserves his place in the world's top 100 at this week's Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

Irish golfer Shane Lowry showed he belonged in the professional ranks with an assured display in Abu Dhabi last week and now aims to prove he deserves his place in the world's top 100 at this week's Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

The 22-year-old, who only joined the pro ranks after winning the Irish Open as an amateur last May, produced a seasoned display to claim fourth at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship behind established trio Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy.

November's third place at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan in November still represents his best finish in his brief eight-month career, but last week's haul of points moved Lowry into the world's top 100 and certainly proved he has what it takes to challenge for further honours on a regular basis.

"I came out last week with no expectations, but got a bit of confidence early in the week and took it on from there," Lowry told Press Association Sport.

"I played really well and putted nicely so it was a nice week to start the year off with."

Lowry claimed fourth place outright with a 25-foot birdie putt on the final green to card a bogey-free 67, although his third round 71 had ultimately left himself too much to do on the final day.

But with eight of the world top 14 on show in Abu Dhabi, Lowry outshone Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson, while European number one Lee Westwood failed to make the cut.

Lowry's rise should not come as a surprise as he followed compatriots Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley and McIlroy in winning the prestigious Irish Amateur Close Championship in 2007 before retaining the title the following year.

"I don't need to work on anything. I played well enough to win, but it just didn't happen for me on Saturday, but that's always the way," he added.

"My whole game was good and I just need to keep the confidence levels up."

Lowry continues to explore the corners of the globe in his first full season as a professional as he follows up this week's short trip to Doha Golf Club with appearances in Dubai and India.

"It's a bit of confidence going into the next three weeks," he added.

"Hopefully I can keep it up and you never know what can happen, it's all about getting in contention on Sundays and I felt I was there or thereabouts last week."

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