The anxious, nail-biting wait is over with confirmation Shane Lowry is heading to next week’s Masters.
The world ranked No. 48 arrived in Texas needing to be inside the top-50 at the close of all competition today to be assured of receiving an invitation to tee-up at Augusta National.
The Irishman lost his opening match in the WGC – Dell Technologies Match-Play but then breathed life into staying inside the cut with a brilliant half against reigning Masters champion, Patrick Reed.
Lowry then defeated Andrew Putman 3&2 to further boost his Augusta goal but needed to be assured by Francesco Molinari defeating American Kevin Na in their quarter-final match in Austin.
Molinari crushed Na 6&5. And with that, earlier today, Ian Barker at the World Rankings confirmed the following: “Shane Lowry is now provisionally 49th and also guaranteed a place in the Top-50 following Kevin Na’s elimination in the quarter final”.
For Lowry, who turns 32 on Tuesday, it will be a fourth trip down Magnolia Lane and a first since 2017.He made his debut in 2015 in missing the cut, finished T37th and sat-out all four rounds in 2017.
“I’m excited to be going to Augusta National and if you are a professional golfer, who wouldn’t be,” Lowry remarked four years ago in learning he would be heading for a first Masters.
“I will have travelled many, many thousands of miles just to play my first Masters and I want to be going there for many more years to come, and if all goes well, hopefully I will be playing till I’m a part of those playing the ceremonial tee shots!”
Lowry now joins fellow Irishman Rory McIlroy in the field for the new season’s much-anticipated first Major, with the likelihood of hopefully another should Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell or Seamus Power capture this coming week’s Valero Texas Open.
Even if McDowell were to win in the Dominican Republic today, and he was leading heading to the final day, the $US 3.6m prize-money and one-year PGA Tour exemption is not recognised by Augusta National as a Masters qualifying event so won’t exempt him unfortunately.
And this week’s San Antonio tornament is a ‘Last Chance Saloon’ for any player not yet into the Masters.