Shane Lowry insists that winning a Masters would be the only golfing title to ‘top’ what he achieved in capturing last year’s historic Open Championship at Royal Portrush. The 33-year old earned a five-year Masters exemption by virtue of last year’s historic achievement on the Dunluce Links though not for a moment is the Clara star about to rest on his golfing laurels.
What would have normally been an eight-month wait to an April Masters has resulted in a 14 month absence for those teeing-up early Thursday morning. Lowry is making his fifth Masters appearance since his debut in 2015 and is looking to not only become the first Irishman to win the Masters but also join just a handful to be able to uniquely wear an Augusta members green jacket at the same time as being in possession of the Claret Jug.
“I had a good week last week in Houston (T11th) and I felt like I played okay, so I feel like my golf is in a decent place,” he said. “Coming back to Augusta is coming back to my favourite place in the world to play without doubt but it is somewhere where I have not had much success
“It is my fifth Masters and I can’t remember that I’ve shot too many great rounds around here, so I am hoping that this change to this time of year also changes my luck around here. I am probably coming in with a bit more form than I have had so I am hopeful for the week ahead. I do feel my game is in a good place. I played nine holes yesterday (MON) and the golf course is great. We are going to get a bit of rain which everyone will say should suit me (smiling).”
In his four Masters showing, Lowry made the halfway cut just once and that was in 2016 when he brilliantly capped his four days with a 70th hole ace on route to a share of 39th but now the Clara star is hoping a change of season to autumn may lead to a history-making moment mid-afternoon Sunday at Augusta.
“The thing is whether you have had success or not around here, the majority of players will say it is their favourite place to play golf,” said Lowry. “I have never driven the ball well around here and that’s kind of strange. I have also struggled on the greens in the past, so it’s kind of a bit of both.
“The thing is I don’t think I have ever come here with any form and coming here in April, I have always come off the back of the WGC – Match-Play and Houston before and I’ve never really done well. So, I just feel I have arrived here playing okay and I am hoping my luck will change this week, and all I’ve got to do is to try and prepare the best I can over the next couple of days and go out there on Thursday and just be aggressive, and just be smart, as well.
“Like I’ve never played the par-5s well out here and everyone knows, you have to play the par-5s well if you are going to shoot a decent score. I will have my eye on the par-5s this week and hopefully I can play those well and get off to a good start, and you never know what can happen.”
And Lowry needed no reminding to golf fans worldwide of his hard-fought major credentials as he proved that in the most spectacular manner, and on golf’s oldest major stage, brilliantly on that 2019 July afternoon. So much so, Lowry is confident he can still ‘top’ that proudest of proud moments in his golfing career.
“Do I think I can ever top what I did at Portrush? Yes, I have struggled but if I have a chance then it will be around here at Augusta,” he said smiling. “To be the first-ever Irishman to wear the green jacket would be pretty special. That is probably the only thing that could top what I did at Portrush. I have worked very hard all my life and I have really put my mind down to it, and I achieved something very, very special last year. I probably won’t ever top that but if it is, it will maybe be around here.”
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