Lowry welcomes Mickelson’s company for a first time since Portrush

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Shane Lowry (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry hopes playing alongside Phil Mickelson for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open will yield similar results to the last time the pair played together in a Major championship.

Lowry was drawn alongside the American for the first two rounds at The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019 and would go on to win a famous first Major title that Sunday on the Dunluce links.

Some observers felt Lowry’s three-ball this week – completed by Mickelson’s fellow LIV Golf defector Louis Oosthuizen – could draw the wrath of a boisterous Boston crowd at Brookline and prove distracting in Lowry’s title bid but the Clara man insists it’s nothing but a positive omen as he looks to convert a superb run of form into an elusive victory at The Country Club.

“I’m in a good group, it’s going to be loud out there and it’s going to be enjoyable,” Lowry told Sky Sports News.

“He [Mickelson] got a really good reception here this week and I’m sure it will be the same tomorrow. The last time I played with him [in a Major] was in Portrush, the first two rounds of The Open, so hopefully it’s a similar result this week!

“It’s going to be a huge mental battle, you’re going to need to hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. The greens are going to get firm and fast and probably get burned out a little bit. The forecast is really good, I think we’ve seen the golf course as easy as we’re going to see it.”

Lowry has pedigree on U.S. Open turf but is still left to rue the closest he came to lifting the title. In 2016, Lowry was magnificent for three days and held a four-shot 54-hole lead ahead of the final round at Oakmont, however, he would sign for a closing 76 as Dustin Johnson claimed the title – one Lowry admits still rankles even today.

“I do always feel like it [2016] is the one that got away, but I look at it now and think that if I hadn’t done that, would I have had what it took to win in Portrush?” Lowry added. “I’m happy with what I have there.

“Obviously, I’d like to have another one and hopefully I can add to it this week. I’m playing well, my game is really good, and it’s been that way for a while. It’s all about staying out of my own way this week now and trying to hole a few putts, that’s what this tournament is going to be all about.”

Lowry tees off at 18.47pm Irish time.

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