Shane Lowry was in jubilant mood talking to Sky Sports after securing a half-point against Jordan Spieth with Tommy Fleetwood, playing in the group behind, sealing the winning point for Europe.
“I said to Luke [Donald] on the back of the green there before I hit my [putt], I just thanked him for putting his trust in me because this is a dream come true for me. And this is something that I’ve always wanted to achieve in this game. And, you know, we didn’t get much going for us in Whistling Straits and, you know, I’m just, I’m so proud of my team, how everyone, there’s 12 players and also 12 caddies, vice captains backroom staff of the tour, it’s just been, it’s been the greatest week of my life.”
Lowry fought back from a three-hole deficit after five to tie the match with an incredible up-and-down for birdie on 16 and then guaranteed a half-point at least with another miraculous chip and putt to win the 17th. He’d concede a short birdie putt to Spieth on 18 and couldn’t hole his own birdie putt, but by then, he was already in celebratory mode and though the record books will register it as a half-point, it won’t matter to the Offalyman who, for a short while at least, looked to have the entire fate of his side on his shoulders.
“Like I’ve been so lucky to do what I’ve done in the game,” he said, “and to be honest, those last two hours were the most stressful two hours of my whole life, I could see it wasn’t going well for us. And I knew me and Tommy [Fleetwood] and Bob [MacIntyre] joked this morning, we were like, “hopefully it doesn’t come down to us” and it did. And thankfully, Tommy did the business and the rest was just a celebration from there.
But, you know, I just want to win my match, but I don’t really care I don’t care how many points I won.
After tasting the pain of defeat in 2021, and the manner of the record-breaking defeat, fears were that a new era of US dominance was setting in, but those fears were quickly dispelled this week and Lowry feels that the future is extremely bright for European Ryder Cup sides.
“I just think if you look at our team,” Lowry said. “I said to the lads last night, I said, “we’ve got a young team.” We’ve got, you know, Rosie [Justin Rose] is the only player on the team over 40. I’m the second oldest at 36.
“And so I see these young kids even, you know, Rasmus Hojgaard was here this week with his brother, he was driving Thomas [Bjorn] in the buggy, guys like him, Vincent Norrman, you know, all the young players on the DP World Tour are going to be pushing again that next team and be at Bethpage [in 2023].
“And, you know, I’m gonna have to push very hard to keep going and get back in the team. But God, no matter what happens from here, this has been the greatest week of my life. This is just incredible and I can’t wait to celebrate with the lads tonight.”
Lowry was full of praise for the captaincy of Luke Donald who had received criticism from some quarters for his selection of Lowry, but feels that he justified the faith that Donald had shown in him.
“Unbelievable,” he replied when asked for a few words on the job Donald had done. “Like, you know, like I said, I’m so grateful that he put his trust in me and gave me a pick and I think I proved my worth this week.
“And yeah, he’s just been incredible from, you know, there’s so many little things that go on behind the scenes and nobody in the whole world sees and Luke got everything absolutely spot on and we said we were going to go out early and hit them hard this week, and that’s what we did.
“And, you know, at one stage today, it was looking dodgy enough, but I have faith in the lads and faith in myself.”
Lowry’s post-2019 Open Championship win celebrations became the stuff of legend and when asked what the celebrations tonight were going to be like, he hinted that we may see a Floridian outing in proper Monday Club fashion.
“We’ll see what my wife says,” he responded with a glint in his eye.
“Well, I’m going back to Florida tomorrow and I might try and drag Rory out for a few days.”