Shane Lowry admitted the on-course microphones can sometimes get a bit too close as he prepared for his first start of the new season at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship.
The 33-year old was asked for his reaction to one of golf’s trending topics after Justin Thomas was dropped by long-time sponsor Ralph Lauren after letting slip a homophobic slur in frustration after missing a short putt at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Lowry is known on these shores for wearing his heart on his sleeve and is no stranger to seeing his own passion spillover, not least when he was caught calling himself a ‘****ing idiot’ after sending a tee-shot in the drink at the 2016 Honda Classic – a clip that has since become a viral sensation amongst empathetic golfers heartened to see that this game can get the better of even its greatest players.
Lowry was slapped on the wrist and fined following his outburst, but received nothing compared to the scrutiny Thomas has endured since opting for an altogether different word. Although Lowry is far from condoning the actions of Thomas, he has expressed his concern that the microphones can be a little too intrusive at times.
“I got caught out before. I got penalised for it, but it’s tricky,” Lowry admitted in his reaction to the hot mic’s place on a golf course. “We’re out there, it’s your livelihood. You’re out there under high-pressure situations. The way I am, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I give my best every day. Sometimes I can get a bit hot under the collar. You need to be careful what you do say and you need to watch what you’re saying because people are watching at home.
“The microphones do get very close at times, especially when you’re under a high-pressure situation. I wasn’t expecting that question,” he smiled. “I don’t really know how to answer it. I’m not condoning what anyone says, I’m not saying we should be allowed to say what we want, but if people keep getting caught out and people don’t like what they’re hearing, maybe it’s time to keep them a bit further from us.
“I’d like to add I’m not condoning what anyone says. It’s just a tricky situation. People at home – Phil Mickelson and Bones are famous for their conversations, there’s one from The Open of myself and Bo and it’s great in those situations that people really get to interact and see how we go about our business. But, in another situation, when people hit bad shots, they’re going to let out anger and you have to weigh up the options and see what’s the best.”