Shane Lowry may have recorded his best finish on the PGA Tour this year but he admitted missing out on victory at the RBC Heritage last week felt like “one that got away”.
The Irishman claimed a tie for third place at Hilton Head in South Carolina on Sunday, his first top-10 since claiming victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the European Tour in January.
Not bad for someone who revealed in his online column for Paddy Power News that he had not even been pushed about playing in the tournament a week after a missed cut at the Masters.
Yet having carded a bogey-free opening-round 65 and stayed atop the leaderboard after 36 holes, Lowry was clearly hoping for a second career PGA Tour win having taken the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in 2015.
Yet weekend rounds of 70 and 71 saw him edged out by first-time winner CT Pan of Chinese Taipei, his closing 67 giving him a one-stroke victory at 12 under par over runner-up Matt Kuchar and two better than Lowry and Americans Patrick Cantlay and Scott Piercy, with West Waterford’s Seamus Power on nine under in a share of sixth place.
“Naturally disappointed but happy and proud about how I played is probably a good summation of how I’m feeling at the moment,” Lowry wrote.
“I really feel like it’s one that got away. I feel like I had it for the taking but it was just tricky down the stretch and it’s just hard to get the job done when you’ve so many guys coming at you. CT Pan was probably the last guy you would’ve picked to come through.
I made two bad mistakes but other than that I feel like I played great all day.
“I’m disappointed but overall am happy with the result.”
If nothing else, Lowry feels he may have stumbled up achieving his ideal mindset for tournament golf.
“It’s funny, I felt so relaxed and comfortable all week. After the Masters, I wasn’t really pushed on playing last week and I kind of said it was a nice place to go with (wife) Wendy and (daughter) Iris and we’d go down and have a bit of a holiday and play a bit of golf and see what happens.
“Maybe that’s the way to approach it for me. It was a bit more relaxed and less trying to force it to do well, whereas the week before you’re putting in extra practice and you feel like you’re doing everything right to try and perform your best. At the RBC, it was a bit more relaxed and a bit easier to get into just playing freely and not worrying, like in Augusta, about making mistakes. It’s something that I can learn from, as well, and use in the future.”