Open champ Shane Lowry is so confident of qualifying for the 2020 Irish Olympic team he’s already booked his flights to Tokyo.
Lowry looks a dead set to join Rory McIlroy behind the Irish flag for the Open Ceremony on 24th August and the start of the 32rd Olympiad.
The now 32-year old will be making his Olympic debut having declined to tee-up four years ago in Rio De Janeiro because of the Zika virus.
And now after capturing golf’s oldest Major, Lowry is looking to create Irish golfing history by going for gold in the Land of the Rising Sun.
“It’s fully in my schedule this year,” said Lowry.
“I mean, I’m not guaranteed on the team yet but it would take a really good season for someone to pass me.
“My flight’s booked. I’m due to fly out the Wednesday after the Open and go to the Opening Ceremony and hopefully play.”
Ireland boasts nine Gold, 10 Silver and 12 Bronze in the history of the Games but Lowry is confident he can increase the number of Gold Medals to 10.
And while this year may only be the second Olympics to feature golf, Lowry is predicting the time will come when an Olympic Gold Medal for golf will be akin to a fifth major.
“The thing is for me, being Irish, we don’t win many Gold Medals at the Olympics so, that’s one kind of goal that I have in my head,” he said.
“It would be incredible to bring a Gold Medal back to Ireland. That’s kind of the way I’m going about it this year. The Olympics will also grow, and golf will grow in the Olympics and I think in 20, 30 years’ time, I think it will be huge.
“It will be like a fifth major but right now some people would say that the majors are probably a little bit more important, but because we play — we have the four majors.
“We are very lucky. We have four majors every year. I play between 25 and 30 events every year, but the other Olympic athletes, they are training for four years for one thing.
“That’s not the way we go about our business. I never grew up dreaming of winning an Olympic Gold Medal, but it just kind of got — we got thrown into it a few years ago, and now it’s become a reality.
“So, it will be pretty cool to go out there and see what it’s like and hopefully come back with a medal for Ireland.”