Shane Lowry is determined to defend his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational title and get his Ryder Cup campaign up and running with a badly-needed win over the next four weeks.
The Clara star knows he’s well off the pace in the race to make Darren Clarke’s team but while there are no qualifying points on offer in Akron in August, the world No 33 wants to be there rather than at the clashing Open de France.
If that’s to happen, he’ll need to be out of the running for Hazeltine or have his Ryder Cup place all but wrapped up by then.
And he’s confident it can be the latter if he can turn some good sensations into a win or two over the next month as he heads from next week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow to The Players at Sawgrass before heading home for the Irish Open and the BMW PGA at Wentworth.
Confident he can turn an “average” season around, Lowry said: “If you look at it, I am a long way outside the Ryder Cup team so I need to win pretty soon. I have just been trying a bit too hard at times and letting bad shots affect me.
“I suppose patience is key and I haven’t been patient enough this year. So the next four weeks are huge. I feel like I am playing nicely. I got myself up there in Augusta for a while although it wasn’t to be at the weekend, I will learn from experiences like that. There is potential there for the rest of the year so I wouldn’t be counting myself out of anything yet.”
Before heading off to The K Club for a practice round yesterday, Lowry weighed in on Rory McIlroy’s announcement on Monday he will play the Open de France rather than the clashing, non-European Tour sanctioned Bridgestone Invitational where there will be no Ryder Cup qualifying or Race to Dubai points on offer.
Lowry said: “I really want to defend the Bridgestone so it is just a call I am going to have to make nearer the time. Rory coming out and saying that yesterday didn’t do me any favours. That’s what he wants to do. It is going to be very hard not to go and defend the Bridgestone. It is such a big event, such a prestigious event.
“So while I know the European Tour are very keen on all of us not playing the Bridgestone, I have to do what is right for me at the end of the day.”
Lowry sees the Irish Open and the BMW PGA as keys to his season, insisting: “I’ve played some of the best golf of my career at this time of the year and I feel that around Wentworth is my time to get going. Wentworth is a massive week on the European Tour but there is nothing I would love more than to do well in the Irish Open.”
Lowry was speaking at the launch of the One for Ireland campaign in aid of youth homelessness, coordinated by the Irish Youth Foundation.
This Friday, customers will be asked to add €1 to their bill when paying at the till at Spar, XL, Londis, Mace, Eurospar, Applegreen, Fresh, and Starbucks outlets, along with many independent stores to help the 1,800 homeless children living in Ireland today.
You can also donate by texting “One” to 50300 or visit www.oneforireland.ie.
Lowry said: “I think it is a great idea — everybody giving one euro is not a lot out of people’s pockets. It is important for everyone to support them.”
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