Shane Lowry was far from pleased in revealing he will be without his Open Championship winning caddy due to newly introduced Irish quarantine regulations.
Lowry did not hold back saying the new ‘returning’ rule announced last Thursday will rob him, for possibly the next four months, of his caddy ‘Bo’ Martin and also the support of long-time coach, Neil Manchip. It means Lowry is headed to this coming week’s RBC Heritage Classic without two keys members of his team who were jetting-back home in not wishing to fall foul of stricter quarantine measures in jetting back into Ireland. Lowry also could be without the pair for both the PGA Championship and US Open.
“I have no idea what I am going to do for a caddy next week,” said Lowry after a final round 72 at the Masters. “Ireland brought in a quarantine rule from the U.S. for some strange reason on Thursday, and we just had to make a decision.
“Bo’s waiting on his second dose of vaccine back home, I think, and he needs to go home and get everything sorted. I don’t expect anyone to spend two weeks in a hotel for me in quarantine. I’m not going to do it, so I don’t expect anyone else to do it.
“It’s pretty s*** for me, to be honest, because I know things are tough for everybody at the minute, but my coach and my team are going home tomorrow, and I probably won’t see them until the Open.
“It’s not great, you know, because I want them over here for the big tournaments, the PGA and the U.S. Open. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know. Maybe there will be exemptions or something. I have no idea. There’s a couple of guys who aren’t playing next week so they’ll be looking for a job. So, I’ll find a caddie out there somewhere.”
Lowry was commenting after a frustrating Masters last day for an even par four round tally that still may see him record his best Masters finish. Lowry grabbed four birdies but let slip four shots in a closing 72 to end his round just outside the top-20 in a sixth Masters showing. His best finish was a T25th just six months ago at the rescheduled 2020 Masters.
Lowry went into the final day at level par but dropped a shot at the first after finding trees left and then missing the green with his second shot. However, for a second day running Lowry was rewarded at the second with a birdie and also chipping to seven-feet but on this occasion making the putt for a birdie ‘3’.
Lowry parred both the third and fourth holes and moved into the red for a first time on the last day brilliantly holing a 20-footer for birdie at the par-4 fifth hole. After a par at the sixth, Lowry birdied the par-4 seventh for a second time in the week after splitting the fairway with a 302-yard drive and setting-up the birdie with a 145-yard second shot to just three-feet.
Lowry made par at the eighth though ‘Carolina Cherry’, however, the par-4 ninth, wasn’t so kind taking a shot back after a disappointing three-putt from just 13-feet where his first putt went five-foot past the cup. Pars followed at 10 and 11 only to find the water on 12 and walking off with a bogey before superbly finding the green in two at 13 and two-putting from some 50-feet for a fourth birdie of his round.
Lowry parred the next four only to find the trees right up the 18th from where he managed to move his second just 45-yards ahead of a closing bogey.
“Today was just frustrating, like the last few days,” he said. “I feel like I’ve played good enough golf this week to be out there somewhere around Amen Corner with a chance to win the tournament. I just kind of made a few too many mistakes along the way.
“The ninth hole perfectly sums up my week. I’m 2-under playing nine. I’ve got a great chance. Genuinely, on this course I’m thinking, if I can hole this now and kind of get a bit of a run going on the back nine, who knows? Then I three-putt that, and I’m like, oh, now I’m struggling again.
“Saying that, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my week because I feel like every day I come out and play this place I’m figuring it out a little bit better. I love the way I played this week. Overall, when I sit back and look at it, I will be pleased about how things went, but it will be one of those weeks where I feel like I could have done a lot better.”
On 9th April, the Minister for Health announced his intention to designate an additional 16 countries/territories as ‘Category 2’. These are: Armenia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Curaçao, France, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Maldives, Pakistan, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States of America.
All those intending to travel to Ireland from or via any of these countries/territories, who will arrive in Ireland after 04.00 on Thursday 15th April are required to book accommodation for mandatory hotel quarantine in advance of travel. The booking portal will be updated to reflect these changes in due course.
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