Lowry aiming for FedEx Cup playoffs after Open disappointment

Ronan MacNamara

Shane Lowry (Photo by Stuart Kerr/R&A via Getty Images)

Shane Lowry has suffered a host of FedEx Cup near misses in his career and insists the playoffs owe him one as he looks to qualify at this week’s Wyndham Championship and use it as a springboard to make the TOUR Championship for the first time.

Lowry arrives in Sedgefield Country Club ranked 76th in the FedEx Cup with the top-70 advancing to the opening playoff event next week. Despite registering just one top-10 in his previous five attempts here, he feels confident he can do enough to squeeze into the FedEx St Jude Championship.

“I’m here because I want to make it into next week. I think it’s easy to sit here and go, oh, I just want to play well, I want to go out and try and win the tournament. No, at the end of the day, I want to make it into next week, I want to make it into the Playoffs and I want to make a run at the Playoffs,” said the Clara native who missed the cut at the Open Championship and snapped a wedge around his neck in round two at Hoylake.


“You know, at this stage I’m sitting here and I still feel like I can make the TOUR Championship, so that’s an exciting place to be. I think obviously I would prefer if I was in a better spot coming in here, but I’m not. It is what it is now and I’m going to need a good week this week.

“Memphis is a course that I like playing and I’ve played all right in the past, so if I can get there, I know I can make a run there. Yeah, I certainly don’t want to be sitting home on my couch watching the Playoffs. It’s a lot of motivation for me this week to play good golf and hopefully get my rewards at the end of it.

“It’s obviously top-70 this year, not 125, so if you look at the 125 that are here and we’re trying to make it into next week, yeah, you could call it like the first playoff event. But like I said, you need to play well and make a move into next week.”

The FedEx Cup has turned into a series of hard luck stories for the 2019 Open Champion who is yet to qualify for the finale in East Lake and missed out by one shot last year and two shots in 2019. Lowry even missed out on the playoffs at this event by a single point despite finishing seventh.

Naturally, he hopes his luck will turn.

“I’ve been in situations like this quite a bit over the last number of years. Like I miss out on the TOUR Championship by one spot last year, by two shots in 2019. I remember playing here one year, I’d been told I needed a top-10 to get to the Playoffs, I finished seventh and I missed out by one point. So I feel like the Playoffs nearly owes me one at this stage, so hopefully — that’s what I’m trying to tell myself this year.

“Look, I feel like I’ve been playing some pretty good golf most of the year. I’m coming off the back of a pretty bad week at The Open, which I was very disappointed with, but I had a nice holiday with my family last week to kind of regroup and hopefully get going again this week.”

Lowry’s 2023 has yet to catch fire after just one top-10 finish across both tours so far and while there have been six top-20 finishes on the PGA Tour including in three of the four major championships that hasn’t translated into enough FedEx Cup points to force himself inside the bubble which is why for now, he is on the outside looking in.

“I think there’s been a lot of good, not much great, which on the PGA TOUR doesn’t cut it. I think I’ve had a lot of, say if you look at probably a lot of top-20 finishes, but you need those great weeks, you need those top-5s to move up the FedExCup points list. You come off a week finishing 15th to 20th and you feel like you’ve played well but you don’t get many FedExCup points, you don’t get what you feel like you might deserve from your play.

“I feel like I’ve played some places that I wouldn’t normally play with the designated events and I’ve had to miss tournaments that I normally like to play. So it’s been an interesting year for me.

“But like I said, I’m here now and I want to play well and I want to get into next week and I want to make a run in the Playoffs.”

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