Shane Lowry can’t wait for Rome 2023 and he looks set to be a leader on the team after inspiring Rory McIlroy to restore some pride with an emphatic singles win at Whistling Straits.
Lowry cried on Sunday as Europe were handed a painful, 19-9 thrashing — something he didn’t do even after winning The Open at Royal Portrush or welcoming his second daughter Ivy into the world earlier this month.
He rebels against the idea that the Americans have made a statement about their intention to dominate the Ryder Cup for years to come and after rallying McIlroy’s flagging spirits on Sunday morning by reminding him he was one of the all-time greats, he showed why he’ll be a force at Marco Simone Golf Club in two years time.
Asked about American claims that this is a new dynasty, he said: “Ah, f**k that. We’ve got top players. I said to Rory McIlroy before we went out this morning. ‘You’re Rory F**king McIlroy. You’re already one of the best players of all time and you’re 32. Go and show it today.’ And he did.
“Jon Rahm. Jon Rahm is going to win 10 majors. He’s one of the best golfers you’ve ever seen, Poults today, never beaten in singles. Viktor Hovland. We’ve so much talent there. No doubts, there’s going to be a good few of us on the team next time, and a few others. Everyone there will be good enough to win the Ryder Cup.”
McIlroy beat Xander Schauffele 3&2 as Lowry lost 4&2 to Patrick Cantlay on Sunday and didn’t take kindly to the American’s efforts to whip up the crowd after he made an 11 footer for par at the eighth before Lowry faced a five footer for a half, then knocked it in and did some mock fist-pumping of his own.
“I got a little bit annoyed on the eighth,” he admitted.
“I thought I holed that putt on nine (he had a 360-degree lip-out) and I was going to go f**king bananas, lads. I was walking it in. It was going to be one of those. I managed to birdie 10 and win 12 and then he just birdied 14, 15, and 16.”
Lowry lost 4&3 with McIlroy in Friday’s fourballs wth Tony Finau and Harris English but redeemed himself agains the same opposition alongside Tyrrell Hatton on Saturday afternoon with a sensational six-birdie haul and that 11-foot match winner on the 18th after a brilliant third shot.
“I came here with an open mind and it was the best time of my life,” he said.
“I’ve loved every single minute of it. I loved being a part of this team playing with such legends of European golf, being a part of Paddy’s team.
“I feel very disappointed for Pádraig.
“He doesn’t deserve this. He’s one of the greatest players ever from Europe. One of Ireland’s best-ever sportsmen. One of my best friends and I’m so disappointed that I couldn’t do better for him today.
“Look, I got things out of this week I’ll look back on. The 18th hole yesterday, holing that putt under that pressure is huge for me. It’s been an unreal week. I can’t describe how good it’s been, and we’ve been absolutely hammered.
“Speaking from a golfer’s personal point of view, [the result] was closer than people might think it is. Friday was very disappointing, giving them all the momentum. They holed the putts, got all the breaks. Everything they did went well for them.
“There’s no doubt I’ll have a few more of these left in me. I never want to miss one of these again. I feel I’ve a lot more to give to this tournament.”
Refusing to second guess Harrington’s decision to sit him for the foursomes, he added: “I wanted to play more,” he said. “Everyone there wants to play more. We were told what the story was and I fully trust everything that he did. I’ve nothing to say about that. We were just outplayed.
“Statistically, they were the greatest American team that ever played in the Ryder Cup. It was so hard as Europeans trying to play in front of those fans against those players, playing the way they were. We tried as best we could and it just wasn’t good enough at the end of the day. We move on.”
Lowry admitted he’ll find it hard to get up for the Alfred Dunhill Links at Carnoustie this week so much did he enjoy team play.
“I can’t believe there are no tournaments like this for another two years,” he lamented. “I can’t believe I’ve got to go and play individual tournaments. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
“You wouldn’t believe the experience I’ve had this week. It’s been incredible and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
As for his tears, he said:
“Lads in the team-room were crying. You wouldn’t believe the emotion this tournament brings out in people.
“I can’t describe the feelings I’ve had this week. I am who I am. I wish golf was a team game. I’d love to be part of a team every week. It’s very individually based. That’s the way it is. God, I’d love to have this experience every week.”
As for the American performance, he felt the key was the two session defeats on day one.
“Without making excuses, I feel they got a lot of breaks the first day,” he said. “The first day killed us, 6-2 down after the first day, always going to be a tall order against these lads.
“My whole goal over the next two years is to be part of that team and to win that trophy.
Obviously, I want to win tournaments, and majors but I really want to win one of these and be part of a winning team.”