When the news that Shane Lowry had parted company with caddie of four and a half years, Bo Martin broke, it would have come as a shock to Irish golf fans given the success they had together.
Martin picked up Lowry’s bag at the Portugal Masters in 2018 and helped the Clara native win the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship before a euphoric maiden major title at the Open Championship in Portrush that July.
Lowry was then winless until last September’s BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth before going close to a second Abu Dhabi crown in January. A missed cut in Dubai the following week looked rather innocuous, but for Lowry it proved a trigger to change the bagman, citing a lack of competitive edge between the pair.
“At the time it kind of came out of nowhere,” Lowry says. “We started in the Middle East and I had a bad couple of weeks, and we had a chat and things weren’t going — when I sit down and look at it things weren’t going as well as I probably thought.
“It got to me a little bit, and I just needed some fresh — I knew, when it happened, I had no one in mind, no one lined up, so I didn’t know what to do.”
Lowry would soon hire former caddie to Paul McGinley, Darren Reynolds and after a missed cut in Phoenix, he feels the pair are starting to develop a rapport.
“I’ve known Darren for years. He had just started with Alex Levy on the European Tour. That’s almost why I didn’t want to ask him, because I knew he just got a new job and I didn’t want to take him away and then it not work out for us. But, frankly, he was one of the few options I had, and we just had a chat. He caddied for me during COVID for a few weeks when Bo couldn’t, and yeah, it’s been going pretty good.
“Four and a half years. It’s a long time. I’ve had two caddies my whole career, and I’ve been on Tour 14 years. I’m not exactly a caddie firer or anything. This is my third caddie. That week in Phoenix was a bit weird for me, and I felt a bit different.
“But thankfully we went to LA and we had a decent result, and then we went and contended at the Honda. Bay Hill didn’t go to plan, but Bay Hill is not a place I typically go, and then but for the first round here, we’ve had a decent week this week, so it’s gone well so far.”
Spare a thought for Frenchman Alex Levy who was embarking on a comeback season on the DP World Tour following a lengthy layoff with a long-term injury. But Lowry is pleased to continue the Irish theme on his bag as he bids to turn his season around at Augusta National next month.
“I remember going into Augusta last year I felt really good the week beforehand, practice was going well and it was after having some good results. Hopefully I can go to the Match Play and have a good result and feel good about my game.”
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