Shane Lowry logged his third consecutive missed cut and left the PGA Championship admitting his Ryder Cup dream was over.
The Irishman, ranked 28th in the world coming into this week’s final major at Baltusrol, has not been playing well since last month’s US Open, where he took a four-shot lead into the final round at Oakmont but finished the tournament as a deeply disappointed runner-up to Dustin Johnson following a closing 76.
He finished tied for 36th in his title defence at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational then missed cuts at both the Scottish Open and Open.
Yesterday in New Jersey, Lowry, 28, clocked up another early exit, a second-round 73 adding to his two-over 72 on Thursday to leave him adrift of the cutline.
Plans to spend some down time in New York City ahead of next week’s Travellers Championship in Connecticut were brought forward and instead of planning his move at Baltusrol, Lowry turned his attention to finding tickets for tonight’s featherweight title showdown between Irishman Carl Frampton and undefeated champion Leo Santa Cruz in Brooklyn.
Lowry is now less concerned about his movements in September when Darren Clarke will lead Europe to Hazeltine for the Ryder Cup, the Clara golfer’s ambition apparently thwarted after failing to build on his leap up the qualification standings after Oakmont.
He was 11th in the European Points table and 13 th in the World Points from which nine players will qualify automatically for Clarke’s team and clearly believes his form will not persuade the captain to make him a pick.
“I probably needed a good week this week to get on the Ryder Cup team and I’m not playing that now so what’s the point in playing next week? That’s the way I’m feeling.”
He admitted thoughts of the Ryder Cup had been crowding his head, as they will be doing to dozens of others during this season, but added: “It’s not an excuse for bad golf, but it’s there. It maybe something, I just don’t know what to think about that now.”
Lowry’s bewilderment at his form stems from his belief every facet of his game is actually functioning well.
Agreeing the game was not showing him much love right now he said: “I’m certainly not loving it either but it just feels like I’m getting nothing out of my golf at the minute.
"Like I shot two over yesterday and yeah, I was happy with my birdie at the last, I was okay, happy enough with my score, finishing two over but I felt like I got nothing out of it.
“I said to my Dad, driving back in the van, ‘I feel like I’m driving well, feel like my irons play’s good, feel like my short game is good enough and I feel good on the greens and I’m five over par’.
"There’s not much more I can say. I’m not particularly enjoying my golf at the minute, maybe that’s part of it but I just can’t put my finger on it."
As for this unwanted weekend off, he added: “I’ll try and get tickets for the Carl Frampton fight, so if you know anyone....” He might well have more Irish golfers for company with Graeme McDowell’s poor form also continuing at Baltusrol, the 2010 US Open champion adding a 75 to his opening 74 to finish at nine over par.
Late starters Rory McIlroy and captain Clarke were already up against it with the cutline projected at two over, both of them starting their second rounds last night at four over par but 2008 PGA champion Padraig Harrington was best placed to make the weekend, getting his round under way at one over and remaining there after seven holes.
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