Shane Lowry is not only eager to return to competition this week but he’s slightly out of pocket after losing bragging rights practicing alongside good friend and current World No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
Lowry and McIlroy have been playing practice rounds in each other’s company at the Bear’s Club course where both major champs are members.
But now after some four months since the duo teed-up in the Players Championship, McIlroy and Lowry can get back to formal competition with a first prize purse of $1.4m.
“I’ve played a good bit of golf with Rory, which has been good. It’s great to practice playing against the best player in the world,” said Lowry to the Irish Sunday Independent.
“I’ve been losing a few dollars to him, but I think it is money well spent when you get to mix in those circles.”
The brighter flipside of the dollar bills Lowry’s been handing over to McIlroy is the fact that Lowry’s game is ‘very sharp’.
“I actually feel very sharp, to be honest, I am not as uptight as I would be starting in January, and I am just looking forward to being out there and trying to hit the ground running, get on a bit of a run and see what happens,” Lowry said.
Still, Lowry could also be hard-pressed to take bigger bucks off McIlroy given the four-time Major winner is top favourite at 7-1 to win on the tight par-70 Colonial course he is playing for a first time in his career.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but for me personally, I just want to get back out and play,” said Lowry.
“I miss the competition. I miss the buzz of getting into contention and playing in those last few groups on a Sunday and really feeling that. I also miss the locker room.
“I miss people. I miss being around people. It will be nice just to get back out and compete again.”
Though there’s the bigger picture and despite a ‘no spectator’ policy in place for the opening four events, it could only take one player and/or caddy to come down with the Covid-19 virus and the PGA Tour is staring at a nightmare scenario.
However McIlroy, a member of the Players Advisory Council, is quietly confident the measures the Tour will have in place will work.
“Clearly, we’re going to have to take as many precautions as possible to be able to put Tour events on again,” said McIlroy.
“But I think the PGA Tour has got a very robust plan in place.”