Shane Lowry is hoping his love affair with Wentworth can gather pace for this week’s prestigious BMW PGA Championship in leafy Surrey.
Lowry is returning to competition for a first occasion in close to a month after ending his PGA Tour season at the August 18th concluding BMW Championship in windy Chicago.
And while Lowry let slip the chance to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship, he will return to European Tour HQ not only with the Claret Jug in his possession but also fond memories of performing around the famed ‘Burma Road’ course.
Lowry has contested every BMW PGA from his debut in 2010 with a best finish of T2nd in 2014 behind Rory McIlroy. It was a result that denied Lowry the chance of qualifying automatically for the U.S. Open as he needed to finish in front of McIlroy.
However, Lowry put that aside and the very next day, finished leading U.S. Open qualifier over 36-holes at Walton Heath.
The Open Champion has enjoyed three other top-10s at Wentworth, so it’s a golf course he’s very familiar with and one he hopes will bear more fruit this week too.
“The BMW PGA Championship is one of my favourite events,” he said.
“When I first played at Wentworth in 2010, I remember I couldn’t believe how big it was – it felt like playing a Major. I’ve had decent success there and I love the whole area.
“It’s a great place, the fans are very knowledgeable, we get to stay in nice places nearby. It’s one of my favourite weeks of the year, so to be able to go back there as Open Champion – my first time playing back in Europe – that is going to be unbelievable.
“It’s a golf course which I’ve always loved, before and after the changes they made. If I go there with my game in decent shape, I know I can perform at Wentworth and I feel like it’s a tournament I can do well in, so hopefully I can put in another good performance there this year.”
And there is another incentive for Lowry as the BMW PGA marks the start of the 2020 Ryder Cup qualifying campaign, with Lowry wanting nothing more in his career than to be on the flight to Wisconsin in a year’s time.
“Wentworth is obviously the start of Ryder Cup qualification too and it’s been no secret that is now my main goal for the next 14 months or so,” he said.
“The fact that Padraig (Harrington) is captain, it would be very special to play under him because I’m very good friends with him.
“Hopefully I can play well, pick up some Ryder Cup points and give it a good run next year.”
IRISH WORLD RANKINGS UPDATE
Rory McIlroy – No. 2 (Unchanged)
Shane Lowry – No. 21 (Unchanged)
Graeme McDowell – No. 110 (Down 3)
Cormac Sharvin – No. 234 (Up 13)
Paul Dunne – No. 253 (Down 2)
Padraig Harrington – No. 327 (Up 5)
Seamus Power – No. 350 (Down 7)