Life without sport’s great escape proving difficult for Lowry

Shane Lowry. Photo by @tourmiss

Shane Lowry admits he’s had good days and bad since the coronavirus pandemic dominated the headlines.

Like the rest of us, the Offaly man has been keeping his distance largely isolating in his stateside property in Florida where this week he would have been vacating for a venture down Magnolia Lane.

However, although he’s understandably disappointed with how golf’s Major schedule has been decimated, the Offaly man has now accepted that his grievances are unimportant in the bigger picture of life.


“Obviously, the Masters was supposed to be this week and I was looking forward to that because I am the most recent major champion and would’ve probably had a nice draw,” Lowry told Off the Ball.

“It was a very exciting summer ahead for me, getting to play the Irish Open as the Open champion and then going to defend the Open too. So, that’s where I really struggled initially, but it was all selfish things.”

Lockdown in Florida sounds much like lockdown everywhere else with Lowry’s young family in slightly warmer climates as they try to fill their days with activities to pass the time. However, slowly but surely a restlessness is creeping in with the light at the end of the tunnel seemingly drifting that bit further from view every day.

“So far it’s been OK but I’m not sure how much longer I can put up with this.

“I’ve had ups and downs. At the start, I found it really hard to get my head around the whole thing, then I went through a period where I was focused on my routine doing some stuff every day. Last week, I was a bit down kind of thinking, ‘When is this going to end?’

“I haven’t hit a shot in about two weeks and I’m even starting to really miss golf now too. I always miss competing when I’m not playing, but I even miss just getting out and playing nine holes.”

“You do see a lot of people on social media keeping active and healthy. If you can stay active, get out for the little walk or run, mentally, that’s going to put you in a better place.

“I have one of those Peloton bikes too, but I’m not giving anyone out my username. I see Rory [McIlroy] and a friend of mine Stephen Grant on it, and they’re both beasts. If I finished in the top 10 or 15%, I’m happy enough.

“But look, I talk about the gym and doing exercise and that, but I’m not the kind of person who will be looking to lose loads of weight during this or change my body shape, or anything like that. I saw a quote from Paul Kimmage about this period in lockdown being like the Tour de France because you can’t be thinking about the finish line in Paris.

“So, you just need to take it day-by-day. I can’t go out and practice, but I can do certain things that will help me in my career, and my head, I suppose. I’m looking to get a little bit fitter and a little bit stronger, so we’ll see what happens.”

What would’ve made the situation easier for Lowry, like so many of us, is access to live sport – any sport. Perhaps it’s a case of not knowing a good thing until it’s gone; the heart certainly grows fonder as absence prolongs but in Lowry’s life at least, sport has always offered the great escape from reality, especially when things get tough, something COVID-19 has robbed us of too.

“Generally in these times of crises and you think about even the recession in ’08, ’09, people still had sport. Most people had that in their lives and it can get you through everything.

“I remember in ’09 when people were going through really tough times, I was lucky to win the Irish Open.

“This happened after Ireland had won the Grand Slam, Leinster had won the Heineken Cup and it just felt like sport was booming and could help people through the tough times. You don’t have it now and it is just weird.”


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