Shane Lowry admits he would ‘dearly love’ to win the Horizon Irish Open again this week at the K Club.
It’s fourteen years since the Clara man won the 2009 edition as an amateur at Co. Louth Golf Club in biblical conditions. Since then, he hasn’t really threatened a second victory and first as a professional but with Ryder Cup worries lifted from his shoulders and an enticing spell of golf to come, he expects to contend this weekend on the Palmer North Course.
“I always have very high expectations of myself, so I expect to come here and compete and give myself a chance on Sunday. This week is obviously a very special week for me, and it’s a tournament that I’d dearly love to win again,” said Lowry who will defend his BMW PGA Championship title at Wentworth next week.
“I feel like I’m playing two tournaments that I love playing, two golf courses that I like playing the next two weeks, so there’s no reason why I can’t come out in form over the next two weeks.
“It’s been a quick 14 years, and this is my 15th season on Tour, and it just goes by so quick.
“I’m obviously very grateful for the career that I’ve had so far. I feel like I’ve got to achieve a lot going forward, as well, so yeah, it’s an exciting time, and it’s a great time to be playing on the best course in the world, and I’m looking forward to the next three years of it.
“Obviously this week is our fifth major, and I do treat it like that, and then we have obviously I’m defending at Wentworth, which is one of my favourite events, next week, and then buildup for the Ryder Cup the week after that. Yeah, it’s kind of dream stuff and something that I’m looking forward to the challenge the next few weeks, and very excited for what it could bring.”
The K Club has been transformed since it last hosted the Irish Open – won by Rory McIlroy in 2016 – with the biggest change being the fairways.
“Yeah, they’re running and they’re firm, and obviously the weather has a lot to do with that. But the course is in great condition. It’s dry. You can see the work they’ve put in here over the years. There’s a lot of rough. With the fairways being firm and there being a lot of roughs, the fairways are going to be harder to hit. Yeah, the place is in incredible condition, and it all sets up for a great week,” Lowry admitted.