Shane Lowry believes Ireland can contend for Eisenhower Trophy glory providing they see playing at home as a bonus rather than a burden.
The former amateur international knows all about achieving great feats on home soil having won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009.
And while there are pressures that come with playing at home, Lowry walked 18 holes on the O’Meara Course with Tramore’s Robin Dawson, Kinsale’s John Murphy and Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell yesterday and urged them to see local knowledge and home support as huge advantages.
People will be saying there’s added pressure playing at home but I think playing on your home course is more of a benefit than anything. They should try to flip it around and use it as a positive rather than a negative.
The trio will get the action underway from the 11th tee on the Montgomerie Course from 7:56am today when they peg it up with the USA and defending champions Australia. Lowry was impressed by what he saw from all three and reckons they have a great chance in a 72-hole strokeplay event where the best two scores count towards the team total each day.
They have a great opportunity this week because they are a good team and knowing the course is huge,” Lowry said.
The field features 17 of the world’s top 25, with the USA boasting world number two Justin Suh, world number three Collin Morikawa, and US Amateur semi-finalist Cole Hammer.
US Amateur champion Vikor Hovland from Norway and South Africa’s Jovan Rebula, who beat Dawson in the Amateur Championship final, are also in Kildare.
Ireland’s non-playing captain, Cork man John Carroll, sees no reason why Ireland can’t challenge strongly, with Dawson ranked eighth in the world after finishing second in both the British and European Amateur Championships, and Purcell and Murphy both playing brilliantly.
“I feel we have a good chance not just because we are playing at home but because the lads are all playing very well,” Carroll said. “Playing at home brings pressure, I am sure they will be able to handle it because all three are very good players who can go low and are not afraid to play with anybody.”