Shane Lowry has entered a U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Ohio with the goal of winning through to next month’s Shinnecock Hills US Open Championship on New York’s Long Island.
Lowry is set to contest the PGA Tour’s Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial starting on May 31st in Columbus, Ohio. Then on Monday June 4th Lowry will compete over 36-holes, also in suburban Columbus, at both the Brookside Golf and Country Club course and the Lakes Golf and Country Club layout.
It will be one of 10 sectional qualifiers in the U.S. on that day and depending on the number of entries it will decide those qualifying for Shinnecock HIlls.
Lowry finds himself having to tee-up in Ohio given the USGA, and organisers of the championship along with the European Tour, have elected not to stage the Walton Heath qualifier on the Monday immediately following the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
So instead of the Walton Heath 36-holer taking place on Monday May 28th it will now take place a week later, on the same day at the 10 US-based qualifiers.
“I’m playing the Memorial this year so I have entered sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open on the Monday after the Memorial,” Lowry said.
“For some strange reason the European Tour and/or USGA moved the Walton Heath qualifier back to the week after the Italian Open and instead of the Monday following the BMW PGA at Wentworth.”
“That just doesn’t suit me. I am playing The Memorial, but hopefully I will have qualified automatically off the World Rankings as I have done before.”
In fact, should the current World No. 83 break into the world’s top-60 either at the end of this month or on Monday June 11th then he will be headed to Long Island for a Shinnecock Hills tee time without having to qualify.
Lowry brilliantly put himself in victory contention at the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont before eventually settling for a share of second and three shots behind eventual champion, Dustin Johnson. It remains Lowry’s best U.S. Open result in five U.S. Open’s.
At this stage, Ireland has just two in the field for the year’s second Major starting on June 14h at the famed Shinnecock Hills.
Those being the former US Open winning Ulstermen Graeme McDowell (2010) and Rory McIlroy (2011)