Lowry excited for US Open after latest top-10 at Memorial

Bernie McGuire

Shane Lowry (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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All roads now point to Torrey Pines for Shane Lowry after the Offaly man captured his latest top-10m finish at The Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. Lowry superbly fought back from three bogeys in his opening four holes to birdie three in succession ahead of birdies at 13 and 14 in a closing 70 for a six-under par tally.

The effort handed the Clara golfer a share of sixth place in what is his first top-10 in four Memorial showings and more importantly, his third top-10 in his past four events.

“Yeah, I’m excited to be heading now to Torrey Pines,” said a smiling Lowry. “I’m coming off a decent week at Kiawah and another decent week here, got a week off next week, so I’m excited to go out to Torrey Pines, a place that I really like.

“I haven’t played there in a while but I’ve shot a couple of decent scores there. Obviously that’s in the tournament that’s there at the start of the year and it’s obviously going to be a different golf course when we get there for the U.S. Open.

“So, I know the golf course quite well and it would be nice to be able to go there and kind relax myself into the week and hopefully kind of get off to a good start and hopefully put up another good performance.”

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy now has 10 days of certain continued hard work on the range before teeing-up in the U.S. Open in what will be the 10th anniversary of a maiden major championship victory.

It was Father’s Day 2011 when McIlroy brilliantly buried his Masters losing demons to spread eagle the field and break all sorts of records to capture the U.S. Open championship at the Congressional club on the outskirts of the U.S. capital.

Ten years ago, McIlroy had also competed in the Memorial in a final warm-up ahead of the U.S. Open but in the 2011 edition of ‘Jack’s Event’, he superbly shared fifth place but fast forward nine-years and 50 weeks and the present World No. 8 walked from the Muirfield Village course sharing 18th place posting a closing round level par 72 for a one-under tally.

Checking McIlroy’s scorecard he produced five good birdies but yet again, coloured his hard-earned work with just as many blue-coloured bogeys while failing to break 70 on any of the four days of the initial weather-affected €7.6m event.

McIlroy now has this week and three official practice rounds before teeing-up on the South Course at Torrey Pines in what also will be a milestone 50th career major.

If there’s a silver-lining awaiting McIlroy on the cliff tops Torrey Pines layout overlooking the expanse of the Pacific Ocean, it’s that he’s had a T3rd (2019) and a T5th (2018) in his past three Farmers Insurance Open appearances, a PGA Tour event held early in the year but over both the South and North courses to the north of San Diego

“When you think about it, whenever you break 70 at Torrey Pines, even the week of the Farmers, it’s a good score,” said McIlroy. “So, and I think with, I mean, looking at the highlights, the greens got super bumpy and fast and that’s sort of what happens the weekend of the U.S. Open.

“Typically if they get like that you’re just being very defensive on the greens, you’re just sort of 2-putting and going on. So, it’s a good recipe for a high-scoring event.”

As for the winning of the Memorial, a par was good enough for Patrick Cantlay to pip Collin Morikawa at the first playoff hole after the pair finished tied at 13-under par in regulation. It’s Cantlay’s second title at Jack’s place but one that will be remembered for the withdrawal of 54-hole leader Jon Rahm who was running away with the tournament at 18-under par when forced to exit the tournament after receiving a positive Covid test.

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