Lowry: The two best players in the world are European players

Ronan MacNamara

Shane Lowry (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry believes the European Ryder Cup team is going through a transitional period with an inexperienced side expected to tee it up in September, but he claims the team will arrive in Rome with the two best players in the world, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.

Lowry was speaking to the media ahead of today’s opening round of the Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi which is supposed to act as a dress rehearsal for the Ryder Cup in Autumn where both world number one McIlroy and world number five Rahm are both absent.

Both players have been in fabulous form this winter with McIlroy posting seven top-8 finishes in as many starts including two wins which have seen him return to the summit of the Official World Golf Rankings, while Spaniard Rahm believes he has been the best player in the world since August after bagging three wins in his last five starts – although he has remarkably drifted from 2nd to 5th in the rankings in recent months.


“Yeah, it definitely is a transitional period,” explained Lowry who led out Team GB&I alongside captain Tommy Fleetwood in the Friday fourballs. “I think it was always going to be that way if you look at The Ryder Cups over the last ten years, I think we have the two best players in the world are European players at the minute I feel with Jon and Rory. It’s up to us, the rest of the lads to get our game to a level where we are good enough to win The Ryder Cup at the end of the year.”

An ageing European team led by Pádraig Harrington, rocked up to Wisconsin in September 2021 only to suffer a record-breaking defeat to a youthful USA in Whistling Straits. Stalwarts such as Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey were all part of that team before joining LIV Golf while Henrik Stenson was stripped of the 2023 captaincy after moving to the Saudi backed organisation.

Although these players are still eligible for selection until further notice, the likelihood is that several rookies could be part of Luke Donald’s charges in Marco Simone Golf Club. Lowry, who is expected to make his second European appearance that week, believes the experience this week could prove invaluable should some of the players make September’s team.

“It’s great for the younger lads that are here this week to be around the likes of Francesco and Tommy and myself and Tyrrell and lads like that and to have Paul McGinley and José Maria and Edoardo and Luke here is pretty good. I feel like we have the bonds of a very strong team come September, and I hope that we all step up when it comes to it.

“And like I say, one of my main goals this year is to win The Ryder Cup and I hope to be a part of that team and hoping to there and hopefully win it back.”

  • Full Hero Cup scoring HERE

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