Shane Lowry will not contest this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational and it has nothing to do with falling victim to the Bear Trap on the final day of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Lowry had just birdied the eighth and ninth holes to move to two-under par for his round and one-under par in total with nine holes to play at PGA National.
The Offaly golfer, contesting his first event this year Stateside as the Open Champion, parred the next five holes ahead of stepping onto the tee at the par-3 15th hole, the opening obstacle of the famed three-hole stretch known as the Bear Trap in honour of local resident Jack Nicklaus.
Lowry had managed birdie at 15 on both day one and two but the hole savaged him on day four when his tee shot was short in finding the water. He walked forward the 30-yards or so to the drop zone from where he found the green and two-putted for a double-bogey ‘5’.
Then at the last there was clear disappointment in not ending with a birdie ‘4’ with Lowry instead missing a six-footer for par in a round of level par 70.
“That putt at the last there sort of summed-up my week as it could have easily been a good many shots fewer,” he said.
“That’s just the nature of this course but in saying that, the game overall is pretty good.”
At least Lowry and his young family didn’t have far to travel to their rented residence as ‘home’ for the next few months is on the Ballen Isles estate, virtually next door to PGA National.
Lowry is set to contest three events in the lead-up to the April 9th starting Masters that include the Players Championship (March 12th to 15th), the WGC – Dell Match-Play (March 25th to 29th) and the Valero Texas Open (April 2nd to 5th).
However, the current World No. 19 is not joining fellow Irish and Major winning Rory McIlroy or Graeme McDowell teeing-up later this week in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“I have never played well at Bay Hill and I just feel it’s the right thing to do in the lead-up to the Masters,” he said.
“Even though we’re over here for a few months, I can’t play everything.
“The way the schedule is now so compact, you really need to be so careful in working out your playing schedule so while this coming week is going to be a week off, I’ll work on my game and be ready for the Players Championship.
“I’ve got a few sponsor things this coming week so it won’t be putting the feet-up as I will be busy.”
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