Shane Lowry revealed he has had to re-prioritise household kitchen items somewhat to cater for the Claret Jug.
The Royal Portrush victory hero has the three earlier tournament trophies he captured – the Irish Open (2009), the Portugal Masters (2012) and the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational (2015) – proudly sitting close to the toaster and microwave oven.
But not the Claret Jug!
That now has a special place on a separate counter-top, close to the fridge in the Lowry kitchen.
“Each time I go into our kitchen, I sort of take it for granted now that the Claret Jug is there,” he said.
“I have a couple of trophies there all in the same place. They’re pretty close to the toaster and the microwave.
“But then I’ve gotten so used to it, and you see the reaction when other people see it, how special it is.
“So, yeah, it really is pinch yourself stuff. You wake up and you pinch yourself after doing it. The thing with The Open Championship is the history of the trophy and the history of the tournament is just incredible. Just to have my name on that trophy forever is pretty special.”
Lowry’s revealed also, with thanks to double Open winning Padraig Harrington, that he’s also spotted the mistake on the Claret Jug.
When Ireland’s own Fred Daly captured the 1947 Open, the official engraver spelled Hoylake, ‘Holylake’.
“I was not aware of the mistake but then Harrington pointed it out to me,” said Lowry.
Lowry’s reaction was somewhat different when Zack Johnson was asked, soon after capturing the 2015 Open, if he had noticed the mistake.
“What mistake! What are you talking about,” said the American.
On a more serious note, Lowry returns to competition for a first occasion since the similar sponsored BMW Championship in the States looking to move on from the euphoria of his Open win and begin the first event of the 2020 European Ryder Cup qualifying process with a ‘W’.
“My main goal for the start of this year, having sat down last Christmas with my coach and manager and we talked about going forward, what do I want to do, and I said, ‘Lads, the one thing I want to do is play on the next Ryder Cup Team’,” he said.
“I was maybe about 80th in the world and we talked about, I needed to get myself in the situation this week. We talked about September. We talked about when Wentworth comes around, first qualifying event, I need to be in all the big events going forward and give myself a chance to make the team and I’ve done that. I’ve achieved that.
“Going forward, look, I know this week is the first qualifying event but there’s an awful lot of golf we play between now and the last counting event, so there’s an awful lot of golf to be played and I’m not going to put myself under any pressure or too much pressure yet, but you know, it would be nice to get off to a good start this week.
“But then in saying that, to have the luxury of a PGA Tour exemption means being in all the big events and that is huge key to making that team.”
Lowry is indeed no stranger to Wentworth’s ‘Burma Road’ West Course having teed-up in every BMW PGA from his debut in 2010, with a best finish of T2nd in 2014 behind Rory McIlroy.
Lowry has enjoyed three other top-10s at Wentworth.