Shane Lowry heads into a seventh PGA Championship this week with his yonger brother, Alan on the bag and they are ready to do battle at Bellerive.
Lowry and long-time caddy, Dermot Byrne parted with a handshake following the opening round of last month’s Open Championship with Lowry’s coach, Neil Manchip on the bag on the Friday only for Lowry to miss the Carnoustie cut.
Alan Lowry has now filled the void, caddying for the current World No. 88 and helping big brother to a T12th in the Canadian Open and a T15th in last week’s Barracuda Championship.
The duo will keep it ‘all in the family’ for next week’s all-important PGA Tour card deciding Wyndham Championship in North Carolina as Lowry’s brother has to return to work at his Deloites job in Dublin.
Byrne too has wasted little time finding new employment, working this week for American Julian Suri and contesting a first PGA.
Lowry wound-up his Bellerive preparations playing a full 18-holes in the company of good friend, Rory McIlroy with the duo ending just after noon in the oppressive sauna-like St.Louis weather.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all as I have started to play nice,” said Lowry. “I feel really good about my game and I am in a very good place at the minute. Alan’s done a really good job out here the past two weeks. Sunday wasn’t ideal, I put myself in position the last two weeks and I haven’t done that all year.”
“There’s nothing but positives I can take. The next two weeks obviously are quite big, if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen . It is not the end of the world. My game all year has been pretty decent, just hasn’t been great and out here decent isn’t good enough, you have to play really well every week.”
“I felt like in Reno, the tournament was not as big as the ones I have been playing in, found it easier to put myself there. In Canada I felt great, played great, felt really close to a big week. I was going into Reno with a lot of confidence, even after Sunday. I had four bad holes on the front nine and finished the tournament quite well. I am coming in with quite a bit of confidence.”
“Though playing a practice round it feels easy, hitting it down the fairway and got a 6-iron into the green and 20-feet for a birdie, but all of a sudden you start missing a few fairways and it gets tricky because the rough is a bit smelly out there in places given the way they have cut it down grain and into the grain makes it the luck of the draw.”
“So, given the soft nature of the course it is going to be a long week, and it’s also going to be a warm week and I think I need to mentally stay on top.”
Lowry will tee-up at 1.34pm Irish time and in the company of Korean Byeong Hun An and American Billy Horschel.