Shane Lowry travelled first class to this week’s Turkish Airlines Open but is adamant he’s not about to jet-off to South Africa next Sunday night chasing bonus Race to Dubai points.
The Open Champion lies in third place on the European Tour money-list behind Austrian Bernd Wiesberger who heads the ‘Race’ with three events remaining in the 2019 European Tour season.
While Lowry joins Wiesberger teeing-up this week in Belek, the Austrian has added next week’s Nedbank Challenge at Sun City before both players tee-up on November 21st in the season-closing DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
It means the Offaly golfer staking his claims for the European No. 1 crown on his efforts this week in Turkey and in a fortnight’s time in Dubai.
“I’m absolutely not going to South Africa for the Nedbank and if I were to win the Race to Dubai then that would be great but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen,” he said.
“No matter what the outcome, I will be sitting down for Christmas Dinner happy enough with what I have accomplished this year.
“Yes, it would be a bright cherry on the top of the Christmas cake if I were to finish the year as European Tour No. 1 but I am not going to be chasing anything.
“The worst thing I can do is go down to South Africa for the Nedbank chasing it because I’ve left Sun City the last couple of years low in confidence as I have not really played well there, and I really don’t like the golf course.
“I will head from here in Turkey with the family to Dubai next week and then head out to the Earth Course for some practice in readiness for the DP World.
“If I perform well, and knowing that I have done well there in the past and on a golf course I really like, then I might have a great chance of winning the Race to Dubai.”
And while Lowry has ruled out next week’s Tour stop in South Africa, he’s revealed he’s actually turned down three other tournaments – the Tiger Woods hosted Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas (Dec 4-7), the Australian Open in Sydney (Dec 5-8) and also January’s ‘winners only’ PGA Tour Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
“We have been in touch with the Hero World Challenge organisers to say that I did not want play, so I will not be heading to the Bahamas,” he said.
“To be honest, I made a bit of an early call on the Hero and I probably shouldn’t have as I was down to play the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii at the start of next year but then I need a few weeks off over the Christmas/New Year period.
“So, we looked at it and if I had of committed to Tiger’s event in the Bahamas, I would have only had 20-days at home and now I am not playing either of them.
“We’ve also had a lot of approaches including the Australian Open organisers and I’ve just had to say ‘no’. It’s a nice luxury to have, and it’s hard to turn down such invitations and for such a prestigious event as the Australian Open but I feel if I am going to perform well next year, it is something I have to do.
“So, while it would be nice to head down to Sydney, I do feel I need to give everything I have the next couple of weeks and then take my break like I do every year and come back in January fully-charged and firing on all cylinders.
“I will start 2020 defending my Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, so I will look forward to teeing-up in the New Year first in Abu Dhabi.”