Signs of real growth give Lowry hope for next year

Shane Lowry’s plans for his Movember moustache may not be too ambitious but he has higher expectations for his golf as he heads into his final run of tournaments this year.

Lowry, 26, tees it up on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course at the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya today, the first of three big events that will bring down the curtain on a season he considers an improvement on 2012, despite not winning a tournament this time around.

The Turkish Airlines Open is the penultimate event of the European Tour’s 2013 Race To Dubai, which concludes next week at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. The world No 72 then travels Down Under to partner Graeme McDowell on the Ireland team at the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne.

At the end of that run, Lowry (pictured) is hoping to have raised plenty of money for men’s health charities, donating €100 for every birdie in those tournaments and €500 for every eagle, and is inviting the public to get behind his effort with donations, even if his moustache is still some way off the magnificent Fu Manchu effort produced by Pádraig Harrington a year ago.

“It would take me about four years to grow that,” Lowry said yesterday. “I am getting quite a bit of stick about mine. I’m lucky it’s not windy over here at the moment because a good gust of wind would blow it away... hopefully I can do well and raise a bit of profile for the charity.”

If the ’tache is causing Lowry angst, it is about the only thing doing so right now as the 2012 Portugal Masters champion looks forward to a potentially lucrative end to 2013.

“Three brilliant weeks to end the year. Not that it could make or break your season but it could turn a good season into a great one, or something even better than that if I can play well.

“I think [my season’s] been quite good. I’m in a similar position in the rankings as I was this time last year but I feel it’s been a better season, even though I haven’t got my win. I feel like I’ve learned a lot more and contended a lot more than in previous years.

“I’m more consistent. I missed a good few cuts in the States but if you look at my European Tour record this year, I’ve only missed [three] cuts, Abu Dhabi [and Dubai] at the start of the year and Portugal. You can’t really complain about that.”

Lowry has had six top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for third in September’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, and has earned more than €770,000 in prize money, yet the fact he left St Andrews disappointed with that T3 rather than delighted as he might have done in years gone by, has the Offaly golfer agreeing he has developed a new mindset on Tour.

“I feel like I’m going into tournaments now looking to win as opposed to making cuts and having decent finishes. I definitely went to the Dunhill that week knowing that if I played decent golf, I’d a chance of winning.

“I gave myself that chance and didn’t do it so, yeah, my mindset definitely is different going into tournaments. It shows where I’ve come from and how all the work I’ve done over the last few years is paying off when I go into tournaments like that thinking I can win them. In Europe throughout the year I’ve played quite consistent golf and have had a number of decent, high finishes. In the past I would have been celebrating them but I look back at them and think it’s been a good year… it really gives me a stepping stone to kick on next year.

“I’m not saying I’m going to win one of the next three tournaments but, hopefully, I’ll give myself a stepping stone and will win [win] again either at the end of this year or early next year.”

To donate to Shane Lowry’s Movember cause, go to www.mobro.co/shanelowrygolf


Lifestyle

Nip those winter ailments in the bud with the help of garden bounty. Fiann Ó Nualláin shows you how.Have a berry merry Christmas with the help of garden bounty

Dig a planting hole around three times the size of its pot and around the same depth, loosening the soil around the hole.Your quick guide to planting trees

The early morning routine is always the same. I get up, have a quick breakfast before helping my brother, who I live with, get his kids ready for school.Working Life with Dr Muslim Moula Buksh

You might be your parents’ favourite, but that doesn’t mean they actually have any baby pictures of you.9 things all youngest children know to be true

More From The Irish Examiner