Lowry hopeful of making his debut in Woods hosted Hero World Challenge

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Shane Lowry and Tiger Woods share a joke at the JP McManus Pro-Am (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

By Bernie McGuire in St Andrews.

Shane Lowry says he is hopeful of making his debut later this year in the Tiger Woods hosted Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Lowry has qualified for the prestigious, limited field event twice before and this year the reigning BMW PGA champion says he looks forward to the real possibility of teeing up in the 20-player field being hosted by the 15-time major-winning Woods.

“I’ve not played the Hero World Challenge before but then I’ve qualified for the event, so it’s just a matter of waiting for the official confirmation,” said Lowry speaking ahead of this week’s 21st hosting of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

“It will be good to tee-up as it’s a great tournament, always a great field and from what I’ve seen from TV coverage on a great golf course.”

The traditional end-of-season now Bahamas-based Hero-backed event was actually first played in January 2000 and then again in December that year, and ever since it’s been a December event.

Padraig Harrington won in 2000 by two strokes from Tiger Woods while Graeme McDowell, as the reigning 2010 US Open champion, captured the first of two ‘Tiger’ trophies from Woods in a play-off.  McDowell won for a second time in 2010.

Somewhat bizarre, but then again it was December, was the sight of many of the houses around the then host Sherwood CC course, located to the north of LA, covered in Christmas decorations.

This year will be the 23rd hosting of the event, with Woods winning on five occasions, though the last in 2011.

Lowry also confirmed his schedule for the remainder of 2022, heading after this week’s Scottish event to tee-up in the CJ Cup, an event fellow Irishman McIlroy is defending, and the DP World Tour Championship before hopefully heading to the Bahamas.

Meanwhile, McIlroy, who played in ‘Tiger’s event’ a year ago, indicated he would not be competing this year.

McIlroy will defend the CJ Cup and then also travel to Dubai in the goal to capture a third Race to Dubai title to go with his triple-winning FedEx No. 1 titles.
 
However reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick indicated he will return to the Hero World Challenge after making his debut a year ago.
 

“Yes, looking forward to heading back this year,” said Fitzpatrick. “It was a fun week last year, very laid back and a nice trophy there at the end that Tiger hands out.  I didn’t play well the first two days but was happy with my last two rounds.”

Fitzpatrick is contesting this week’s Dunhill Links, with his mother Susan as his partner. He’ll end his major winning season also contesting next fortnight’s Valderrama Masters, the CJ Cup, three weeks off and then head to Dubai before heading back to the Bahamas

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