Lowry likens himself to the Iron Man of golf ahead of Honda Classic

Bernie McGuire

Shane Lowry (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Shane Lowry likened himself to the ‘Iron Man of Golf’ heading into this week’s Honda Classic at the PGA National course, and a ‘home’ event for the West Palm Beach based Irishman.

This is the last hosting of Honda sponsoring what has been the longest in the PGA Tour’s history is also Lowry’s third PGA Tour event in a run of five in succession for the 35-year-old father of two young girls.

Lowry arrived ‘home’ on the back a missed cut in the $US20m WM Phoenix Open and then a share of 14th in last week’s $US20m Genesis Invitational and following this week’s $US8.4m event, he’ll tee-up in next week’s $US20m Arnold Palmer Invitational and the following week’s $US25m Players Championship.

If you think the arrival of LIV Golf has not impacted on the PGA Tour, then just count up that $US96.4m in prize money in just five weeks of competition.

Though the surge in prize-money has had a detrimental effect on events such as this week with a near $US 9m purse not enough to attract the cream of the PGA Tour crop, and many neighbours to Lowry not playing.  Indeed, Lowry is among only six players inside the top-50 in the World Rankings competing this week.

This has not deterred Lowry as he’s contested 150 PGA Tour counting events since making his PGA Tour full-season debut in 2014/15 to now be only $524 shy of a whopping $US15m in all-up prize-money in his now sixth full season.

Though the focus is not on the ‘greenbacks’ but items such as a green jacket and a Rodman Wanamaker Trophy to go with his Claret Jug.

“I’m like the iron man of golf”, said Lowry smiling.

“This is my third of five in a row and I’ve also played three before that, so I’m playing eight out of nine weeks to start my season.

“I feel like Sungjae Im (smiling). Yeah, I’m playing a lot of golf. But this is like obviously with the field here this week, this is the obvious week for people to skip, to take some time off to get ready for The Players and the Masters and whatever.

“I feel like I live here, I like the course, I feel like I can win around a course like this. I want to play here. I like this tournament”.

Though Lowry returns to his PGA Tour ‘home’ course still carrying some of the emotional baggage of last year’s second place finish, and being somewhat robbed of a first win anywhere in then three years when the heavens opened while tied for the lead and a just one hole to play.

With it bucketing down, Lowry was forced to settle for a closing par, losing the title by a shot but he turned a negative into a positive, using the result to produce three third place results in succession starting a few weeks later at The Masters.

There’s also a bigger agenda on his golfing radar this year and that’s being on the charter flight later this to Rome, and a second European Ryder Cup appearance but this time, hopefully on a winning side.

Yeah, it’s a lot. It’s certainly one of my main goals for the season is to win the Ryder Cup, not only be a part of the team but win the tournament.

“I was part of the last team, and we got beaten pretty badly up at Whistling Straits, but hopefully get one back this year, and I’ll be doing my best to make the team,” Lowry said. “If I don’t make it, I’ll be doing my best to put my best foot forward to get a pick off Luke, but hopefully I can be there and hopefully add something to the team.

“Like I said, for me the last one felt like it was about making the team, and I felt like I got there then, and I probably didn’t perform as good as I would have liked. Yes, I had a couple of highlights that week that were pretty cool, but this one I’d be solely focused on trying to win it as opposed to just making the team”.

Joining Lowry is good friend and fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington winner of the Honda Classic in 2005, and the now 51-year-old’s first victory on the PGA Tour and also the 2015 champion, his last on the Tour.

Harrington will contest the opening two rounds in the company of this year’s rival Ryder Cup captains in Luke Donald and US counterpart Zach Johnson.


Also just two Irish contesting the DP World Tours Hero Indian Open in New Delhi, and the first hosting of the event since 2019 due to Covid lockdown measures in India.

The rookie pair of John Murphy and Gary Hurley will be teeing-up in the $2m event won 1,425 days ago by Scot Stevie Gallacher.

Honda Classic Irish tee times (Irish time)

Shane Lowry – 1.34pm

Padraig Harrington – 6.18pm

Hero Indian Open Irish tee times (Irish time)

Gary Hurley – 6.05am

John Murphy – 8.30am

Irish tee times (Irish time)

Shane Lowry – 1.34pm

Padraig Harrington – 6.18pm

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