Open champion Shane Lowry insists he will not rest on his laurels as he looks to finish his career-best season on a high at the DP World Championship in Dubai.
It has been a campaign to remember for Lowry, who kicked off the year with victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA in January before claiming his first major title in style at Royal Portrush in the summer.
The Offaly-native has an outside chance of winning the Race to Dubai crown, heading into this week’s European Tour season finale in fourth place behind leader Bernd Wiesberger, Tommy Fleetwood and Jon Rahm.
And with plenty still to play for, Lowry is keen to keep his foot on the gas, knowing that he can be proud of what he has already accomplished when the season is over.
When asked how he may have responded if somebody had told him he would finish the year in his current position when he arrived in Abu Dhabi in January, Lowry said: “I probably would have laughed a little bit.
“Obviously I would have taken your hand off for what I’ve done this year – it’s been incredible. It’s not that I didn’t ever think that I could do something like I did.
“I suppose the big thing is Portrush, and to be able to achieve something like that is obviously amazing and it’s like a dream. It’s a dream come true, really.
“But I try not to let myself think about it too much and try not to dwell on that. I’ll be able to sit back next week with my Claret Jug and be happy with what I have. But I’m trying to do as well as I can this week.
“The one thing that’s got me over the few months since the Open is, when you have bad days and you’re shooting bad scores, people saying to you, ‘you won the Open, it doesn’t matter’. But it does matter.
“Every day it matters to me and I want to shoot the best score I can and I want to be the best player I can be every day.
I’m going to go out and give my best this week and no matter what happens, I will be sitting back next week with a major trophy in my cabinet this year, and I’ll be happy with what I have. But it would be incredible to add European number one to that list, as well.
Also in the star-studded field in Dubai is Rory McIlroy, who is no stranger to this event having won it twice before.
McIlroy is without his regular caddie Harry Diamond this week but insists he knows the course well enough to cope in his absence.
The WGC-HSBC Champions winner, who will have Niall O’Connor on the bag, said: “I guess it’s good, if there’s any week where I don’t have Harry on the bag, it’s good it’s this week.
“I feel like I could play this place blindfolded. I’ve been coming back here for 10 years. I know the place like the back of my hand.”