Shane Lowry will do all in his power to avoid putting European team Captain, Padraig Harrington in the awkward position of having to decide whether or not his good friend and practice partner is worthy of a Ryder Cup pick.
Lowry was speaking ahead of this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that sees the European points race resume at a venue where the Clara star was victorious in 2019. Ahead of the tournament, Lowry found himself alongside Harrington, playing nine holes as the pair reacquainted themselves with Abu Dhabi Golf Club. However, during the course of the practice – and any such practice scenario in recent times for that matter – Lowry insists that the topic of this September’s Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits never comes up in conversation.
“It’s funny, we never talk about it,” Lowry laughed. “We actually don’t. It’s something… I certainly don’t want to leave it to him to have to pick me, because I know how hard a decision that would be. If I’m playing great golf and deserve a pick, I deserve one, end of story. But I don’t want to have to depend on one.
“I want to make the team and he knows that more than anything. I’m going to be doing my best. Golf’s a funny game. We don’t know what’s ahead of us. I go out and give my best every day and see where it leaves me. If for some reason I don’t make the team and I’m playing good enough golf, I might deserve a pick. We genuinely don’t talk about it. It never really comes up in conversation.”
In his quest to book his seat on the plane to Wisconsin, Lowry has welcomed Harrington’s decision to alter the points system ahead of September’s renewal. In his bid to ensure his team is packed with form players, Harrington requested that all Race to Dubai and World Golf Ranking points earned between January 1 and May 9 were multiplied by 1.5, with all points earned from May 10 until the BMW PGA Championship on September 12 to be doubled. The European Tour’s Tournament Committee subsequently approved the three-time Major winner’s proposal.
“What they’ve done with the points is great for the likes of me who is outside the team at the minute,” Lowry said. “I get the chance to make up points over the next eight months. I’m happy with that and hopefully I can make as many as is enough to get in the team. Hopefully I make more than enough and have the best season of my life. I know if I can play as good as I know I can, there’s no doubt I can make that team.”
In the meantime, Lowry will try to learn from past mistakes, admitting that his burning desire to make the team in 2016 created an all-consuming Ryder Cup cloud that ultimately led to his undoing.
“I’ve probably let it get in the way in previous years. I’ve only really had one good chance of making The Ryder Cup team and I messed that up myself, let’s be honest. That was in 2016 for Darren’s team,” Lowry admitted.
“The way I am now and the way my career path has gone, I’m more mature and ready to go and take that next step and make the team. It’s just up to me to get there my own way, let myself play golf. I know how good I can play, I just need to try and let that happen, keep working hard and hopefully I’m on that plane, not only going there but winning the trophy as well.”
- Lowry tees off on Thursday alongside Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose at 8.05am Irish time.