The glass is half full for Lowry as he enters critical part of the season

Ronan MacNamara

Shane Lowry (Photo by Brennan Asplen/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Shane Lowry’s chances of a first win since 2022 ended in a watery grave on Monday but there is no sense that it was a nail in the coffin as far as his season is concerned.

There was no joy for Lowry in Florida at the Cognizant Classic but a taste of what it’s like to be at the top of leaderboards again could be the tonic he needs ahead of a crucial few weeks.

It’s testament to Lowry’s inconsistent 2023 that Monday’s fourth place finish was his first top-10 on the PGA Tour in twelve months despite failing to convert a 54-hole lead in Palm Beach.

Once he gets over his disappointment and frustration from the Monday blues, Lowry will realise that there is plenty to be optimistic about as he embarks on the second of four successive weeks on the PGA and DP World Tour.

A few missed greens at the wrong time cost Lowry dearly on Monday but he ranked 2nd in strokes gained approach and 21st in putting and the glass is definitely half full heading to Bay Hill on Thursday.

This week will see Lowry play in his first Signature Event of the season. An invite came his way last week and with that an opportunity to build some momentum.

Since the Ryder Cup – where his performance was modest while filled with passion – the Clara man has played just five times and his exclusion from the Signature Events this term have seen him endure a stop start season.

Having failed to make the top 50 who are exempt via last year’s FedExCup standings, he needed a sponsor’s invitation to make the field at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Last year, Lowry failed to make the FedEx Cup playoffs and last month he fell outside the top-50 in the world and with next month’s appearance at the Masters coming at the end of his five-year exemption, he needs to hit form to prevent it from being his last for a while.

But the next few weeks offer big opportunity for Lowry who boasts fine records at the PLAYERS Championship and the Masters.

At TPC Sawgrass he has finishes of 8th and T13 in the last three years while he has an aptitude for Augusta finishing in the top 25 for the past four years, including a tie for third in 2022.

Lowry may even get further reps in after Singapore on March 24th with a visit to Texas possible before making another trip down Magnolia Lane at which stage he could be perched back inside the world’s top-50 where he belongs.

A player who makes no secret that he relishes the big occasion, has been on the periphery of late and although he missed out on spots in the remaining Signature Events — the RBC Heritage, the Wells Fargo Championship, the Memorial Tournament and the Travelers Championship there were green shoots for the 2019 Open Champion.

Now aged 36, Lowry will be 37 when the Masters rolls around and it signals the start of a critical few years in his career. Without a worldwide win since the 2022 BMW PGA Championship, which was shortened to 54-holes at Wentworth, he remains without a regular PGA Tour win.

Whether he can get one this season is unclear but his intentions to play in Singapore on the DP World Tour show that he knows it’s time he walked into the winners enclosure.

“Nice to be back in the mix this week at the @the_cognizant,” Lowry wrote on his social media channels. “Some big weeks coming up so hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. On to Bay Hill.”

Some big weeks to come, indeed. But reason to be cheerful.

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