by Bernie McGuire at Jumeirah Estates, Dubai
With the smoke still settling from Rory McIlroy’s verbal grenade hurled in the direction of LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, Shane Lowry emerged full of positives about his chances at this week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Lowry, who followed McIlroy into the DPWTC press room, is currently eighth of the Race to Dubai money-list having dropped a place with Tommy Fleetwood jumping nine spots to No. 4 following last week’s successful defence of the 40th Nedbank Challenge at Sun City.
This is Lowry’s 10th appearance since 2012 in the season-ender here on the Earth course at the Jumeirah Estates, with his best finish being joint runner-up in 2017 while he was fifth in 2014 and shared ninth last year.
In contrast, Lowry’s best overall DP World Tour season ranking was fourth in 2019, helped that year after he brought the Irish nation to a standstill in capturing the Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Without going into all the permutations Lowry has been advised he can mathematically end the year as European No. 1, a thought the now Florida-based Irishman will carry for all four rounds despite it being a long-shot. But, if all goes well, it will be Lowry accompanied this week by his father, Brendan who’ll be glancing skywards when the Red Arrows roar spectacularly up the final fairway at Sunday afternoons victory presentation.
“It’s great to have that chance,” he said. “To be honest, I wasn’t 100 percent sure or I’m not 100 percent sure what I need to do. Obviously, you come here and you want to just do well in the tournament, give yourself a chance on Sunday to win the tournament.
“If everything else stacks up the way I need it to, that will be great as well. It’s been a good year. I obviously don’t play too many events on the DP World Tour anymore. I play as much as I can, and to be up here giving myself a chance to win, it’s pretty nice.”
If successful, Lowry will also celebrate his 365th DP World Tour event after breaking through the Euro 10m barrier in prize-money following his win at Wentworth.
“I feel like I’ve had a good year up till then but it started to become quite frustrating because I obviously wanted to win so badly,” said Lowry.
“It had been a while since I won. And to get over the line in a place like Wentworth in a tournament like that is just — at the start of the year, if you’re right in tournaments you potentially want to win, that’s right up there with them.
“So yeah, one of my favourite places to go play golf and favourite places to play and to have my name on that trophy is pretty cool.”
And should it not transpire this week then Lowry’s got a few more years ahead of him in a quest to savour that reward.
“When you sit here and read the names on the trophy, I’m very fortunate that I’ve won a couple of very historic events, and it’s bigger and better than anything when you win those historic events and when you see those names on trophies that you put your name alongside those,” he said.
“It would be pretty nice to do that here at the DP World. That’s certainly a goal in the future. If I do something pretty special this week, you never know.”
IRISH TEE TIMES – ROUND ONE (Irish time)
Shane Lowry – 8.25am
Rory McIlroy – 8.45am