Lowry ready to turn his form around at Augusta

John Craven

Shane Lowry Image by Masters media

While Shane Lowry accepts that he’s not as confident going into this week’s Masters Tournament as he was last year, he sees no reason why he can’t flip his form on its head and mount a challenge at Augusta National come Sunday.

Lowry secured his best ever finish at the tournament last April, grabbing a share of the podium alongside Cam Smith after brilliantly recovering from a triple bogey sixth at the fourth hole for a final round 69.

All facets of Lowry’s game were in working order on the week but it hasn’t been nearly as straightforward so far this term with the Offaly man arriving to Georgia off the back of a group stage elimination at the WGC Dell Match Play.


With a new caddie in tow this year in Darren Reynolds, things haven’t quite clicked for the pair as yet but that’s not to say one great week isn’t waiting around the corner, and no doubt Lowry would dearly love it to be this one.

“Last year was nice, but you don’t have a God-given right to come here and play well. You still have to do everything right and get a bit of luck along the way,” Lowry said from Augusta National on Monday.

“I step on tee boxes now and I see my shots, and I see my shots on the greens. I have even got a new caddie here this year and we were talking a lot about it today. I see my way around this golf course pretty well. It is about being aggressive to your spots and pulling it off.

“My results have not been great, but when I sit down and think about it, I am not far away, three out of four good rounds in weeks, stuff like that.

“I have not done certain things well that I would have liked, but I feel okay. Would I say I feel as confident as I did this time last year? Probably not, but do I feel like I can go out and do well this week? Yes, I do.

“Last year, I came off the back of a second place and a top 10 in the Players and I was playing good golf. I was confident. Am I as confident this year? No, but I do feel like my game is in a decent place, and I am just trying to be as patient as I can. Hopefully, it all comes together this week.”

Patience always proves key around Augusta where champions tend to ease their way into the tournament as opposed to going for broke from the off and playing themselves out.

A hallmark of Lowry’s form over the last 18 months is his ability to hang in there and never give up and while his putter has misbehaved of late, a strong week on the greens is never far away for Lowry – a simple thought, feel or adjustment capable of flipping his fortunes upside down in an instant.

“It can flip in one go, it really can,” Lowry said. “The feeling, whether it be on the greens or with your driving or iron play, it is a funny old game. It is a game that some days you feel like you are never going to hit a bad shot again and some days you feel like you are never going to hit a good shot again.

“There are certain times I go out and I feel great. Like The Players was a perfect example this year. I felt unbelievable in practice, rolled the ball unbelievable on the greens.

“The first tournament of the year I was really excited for and I went out and shot 77. I was like, this f***ing game. Then I went out and I had a pretty solid week after that, I came back and just made the cut and had a nice weekend

“That was nice to do that, I went to the matchplay then and I just don’t like that course. It is a strange format and I struggled around there over the years and I do feel like my game is in a decent spot. It can click at any stage.

“The important thing is not to try and make it click. If you try too hard to make it click then that’s when you put too much pressure on yourself. It is all about waiting for it to happen for me. I feel like I am doing the right things. I feel like I have worked very hard each year trying to get things right and just trying to be patient now.”

In the meantime, Lowry will hope the golfing gods shine down from the heavens and break up the cloud formations that forecast heavy rain this coming weekend. The early part of the week has seen temperatures reach the thirties celsius and a firm and fiery Augusta would certainly play to Lowry’s strengths; his short game artistry and shot variety largely unrivalled; the tougher the set-up, the stronger his hand.

“It is quite firm today, actually,” he noted. “I think they are probably going to let it firm up as much as they can over the few days because of what is forecast this weekend. I would expect it to play firm the next few days, but then when it gets to the weekend, who knows what it will bring?

“Hopefully, it breaks up, but it will probably play firm on Thursday. That could be the most difficult scoring day, so it will be interesting. We just have to see. It plays longer and a little bit easier when it is soft.”

A soft golf course would be disappointing for the tournament as a whole but for now there’s no dampening Lowry’s spirits, with the Clara star set to contest Wednesday’s Par-3 Contest alongside the Fleetwoods and the McIlroys before game-day, Thursday.

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