Despite insisting he loved every minute of his Ryder Cup debut, Shane Lowry admits he’s gutted for his great friend Padraig Harrington after the Captain oversaw a record-breaking defeat at Whistling Straits.
Despite meticulous planning and a great feel in the team-room prior to this week’s biennial contest, Harrington’s Europe went down without landing a punch, 19-9 to one of the best United States teams to ever grace the competition.
Thanks to all my team. Wasn’t the result we wanted but some great memories all the same. These are the best days of our lives. We were beaten by a better team and I couldn’t of got more commitment from you. Looking forward to seeing you rise for Rome. You will forever be my team. pic.twitter.com/0QCLAFqqws
— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) September 28, 2021
Rookie Lowry was a rare bright spark on a bleak week on the fairways of Wisconsin for Europe, carrying team-mate Tyrrell Hatton over the line in an inspired four-ball victory on Saturday afternoon against Tony Finau and Harris English.
Sent out second in the singles to repeat the heroics against PGA Tour player of the year, Patrick Cantlay, Lowry came up against a brick wall in the American, falling to a 4&2 defeat on Sunday. However, despite the loss, Lowry was still able to cherish the week, with his only regret the inevitable criticism Harrington will suffer after a resounding 10-point loss.
“I’ve loved every single minute of it,” Lowry told RTÉ Sport.
“I’ve loved being a part of this team playing with such legends of European golf, being a part of Paddy’s team. I feel very disappointed for Padraig.
“I think he doesn’t deserve this. He’s one of the greatest players to have ever played the game from Europe. He’s one of Ireland’s greatest ever sportsmen. He’s one of my best friends. I’m just so disappointed I couldn’t go out and do better for him.
“But it’s been an unreal week. I can’t describe how good it’s been. Like, we got absolutely hammered… it’s so disappointing. I don’t even know what to say. I’m here waffling. I’m just so disappointed. I’m disappointed for Paddy, I’m disappointed for me, I’m disappointed for all the lads, but it’s been an unreal experience.
“There’s no doubt I’ll have a few more of these in me. I never want to miss one of these again. It’s been incredible. I feel like I’ve a lot more to give to this tournament.”
As for Harrington, who feared his legacy could be tainted should things go wrong prior to Wisconsin, he could only accept a humbling defeat inflicted by Captain Steve Stricker’s outstanding side. The three-time Major winner ever found time to pat tribute to Lowry for whom he’s predicting a huge career on golf’s biggest stages.
“Shane is a big time player,” Harrington said. “To see him and how comfortable he is in the Ryder Cup, he looks to me far more comfortable than I ever was on these pressure situations and I went on to win three Majors, six Ryder Cups. I look at him and go, ‘wow’, this is a guy who has done well but he has a bright future in the sense of the bigger the occasion the better he is.
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