Shane Lowry is determined to help Europe reclaim the Ryder Cup this September and wants to be one of the key players for Luke Donald’s charges as they bid to avenge a record-breaking defeat to the USA two years ago.
Lowry impressed on his debut for Team Europe under the captaincy of Pádraig Harrington despite succumbing to a historic hammering in Whistling Straits and has had a good start to the qualification process, picking up a win at the BMW PGA Championship last September.
The Clara native is widely expected to earn at minimum, a captain’s pick from Donald, but having moved into the automatic places alongside Seamus Power and Rory McIlroy, he has every intention on playing his way onto the 12-man team for Marco Simone.
“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.” said Lowry ahead of his sixth career start at the Honda Classic where he was desperately unlucky to lose out to Sepp Straka twelve months ago.
“I think I was a 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, and 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.”
As it stands, three Irish players make up the six automatic qualifying places with World Number One Jon Rahm, Victor Perez and Viktor Hovland while former Ryder Cup players Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood are on the bubble with Adrian Otaegui.
Lowry is confident that Europe will have a strong outfit when the United States come to Rome.
“Yeah, I don’t wake up every Monday morning and look at it, but we have the bones of a very good team, and I think we’ve got probably the two hottest players in world golf at the minute — well, definitely the hottest anyway in Jon, and Rory isn’t playing too bad. We’ve got some very good golfers, and you’d like to see a couple of the younger lads step up and make the team, as well. I think we’re going to have a very good team come September.”
One Ryder Cup hopeful Europe are likely to be without is world number 35 Thomas Pieters after it was announced he was moving to LIV Golf last week. Although the Belgian is still eligible to make the team until further notice alongside Ian Poulter, Bernd Wiesberger, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia, Lowry was coy on whether he believes LIV players should be allowed to compete in the Ryder Cup.
“I can’t sit here and say whether I think they should or shouldn’t because the way it is now, I could be on the team with one or two of them or multiple of them in September,” he explained.
“The way it is now, they’re eligible to make the team, and if they play well enough, they’ll make the team. So it’s a very interesting time, obviously. I don’t know. I don’t know whether they should or they shouldn’t. That’s just kind of the way I am now. But even if I had an opinion, I can’t really say because if I’m a part of the team and then there’s bad blood there, it doesn’t bode well for the team. I’m all about Team Europe and the Ryder Cup, and I’ll do everything in my power to be a part of something that will be special in September.
“Whether there is lads involved in it or not, if we’re standing there with the Ryder Cup trophy on Sunday, I’ll be a happy, happy man.”