Shane Lowry will try to maintain an even keel this week as he aims to carry his good form into tomorrow’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
The 27-year-old Irishman has gone into Major championships in good form in the past, yet has not enjoyed the best of times in his six outings to date, a tie for 32nd at last year’s Open at Muirfield his best showing.
Last month’s US Open was another case in point, as his confidence was sky high following a second place behind Rory McIlroy at the BMW PGA Championship three weeks earlier. That turned to anguish as a forgettable back nine on Friday at Pinehurst No. 2 put paid to his hopes of making the cut.
This week the reason to be cheerful is a fourth-place finish last Sunday at the Scottish Open following a closing 66 at Royal Aberdeen but Lowry is determined to learn the lessons of previous Majors and stay mentally strong throughout the opening two rounds at Hoylake and hopefully beyond.
“Because I’ve played quite well the last couple of weeks, it’s important for me not to get too high this week and try too hard,” Lowry said following his practice round yesterday. “I suppose I’ll have to talk with Neil (Manchip, his coach) about it a bit but try to keep expectations down.
“Find that balance, that fine line because I know I can do well. I know I can put myself in a good position here come the weekend. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. My game is good. I’ve got to get out there and try not to put too much pressure on myself.
“Because I’ve been playing well, I’ve been getting texts off people, saying ‘I’m going to back you, you’ve gone in from this price to that price, I think you’re going to do well this week’. So I just have to try and put all that out, just simplify everything and try and get on with my own thing.
“Mentally, I need to try and cut out the silly mistakes. You look at my last two tournaments, I made enough birdies to win both but just kind of made a few mental errors here and there. I just have to think my way around the golf course a little better.”
Feeling at home at Hoylake on the Royal Liverpool links will also help Lowry get into a good place and closer to realising his potential on the biggest of stages.
“I get onto a golf course like this, no matter what tournament it is, and feel comfortable hitting shots and feel comfortable in the surroundings,” he said. “If there’s a bit of a bad weather, I’ll feel comfortable in that too.
“I feel way more comfortable here than I do at the likes of the US Open.
“The Open only comes around once a year. I’m, 27, I’ve played in three, I’ll probably play in only 20 Opens in my life. That’s not even a season in golf, and it’s hard to win an event in a season. I feel like I have the game to win a tournament like this. If I play like I played on Sunday, I definitely think I’ll have a chance.”
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