“It doesn’t feel like a new season at all” – Lowry

Bernie McGuire

Shane Lowry talks with his caddie Bo Martin. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

In a normal season, Shane Lowry would be at home with his young family considering teeing-up in European Tour events in Portugal, Italy and then later in the year in Scotland, South Africa and Dubai.

This though has not been a normal year given the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic that continues to bring death and despair around the globe.

Where Lowry would have made three or four return trips already this year across ‘The Pond’, he’s instead remained Stateside since mid-February.

Some six weeks ago, there were emotional scenes at West Palm Beach airport when his wife, Wendy and young daughter, Iris headed home leaving Lowry all on his lonesome.

And what is even stranger for Lowry is that he will tee-up this week for a first occasion in the Safeway Open, in the heatwave conditions of Napa Valley. The $US6m event is the first on the new 2020/21 PGA Tour wraparound schedule.

“To be honest, it doesn’t feel like a new season at all,” Lowry said. “I’s strange because I’ve never played the Fall Series over here, I’ve always been back in Europe this time of year playing in that and playing the end of our season in Europe.

“It is strange to be starting at a new season this week, but I just see it as another event. To be honest, it’s nice to be able to get some events under my belt this time of year in America because normally I come back out in January or February with like, you know, a long way behind the top guys at the top of the FedExCup.

“So, it would be nice to hopefully get a few FedEx Cup points on the board and hit the ground running.”

Lowry has not teed-up since missing the cut in the Northern Trust to end his PGA Tour year 123rd on the FedEx Cup standings.

He then spent a few days with friends in nearby Rhode Island and since then has been back in Florida at the rented premises he and his wife moved into the week prior to February’s Honda Classic.

And it’s not been all chilling out in Palm Beach Gardens, as Lowry revealed.

“Srixon came out with some new equipment, a new set of irons, which are similar so I have been trying them out,” he said.

“They look a little bit different to what I’ve been using, but they perform pretty much the same and I find the irons easy to change, so that’s easy. And my driver, to be honest, I drove the ball pretty poorly over the last while and I do feel like there might be something wrong with the old driver. I used it for a couple years, maybe it’s gone a little bit.

“I was getting some weird numbers on ‘Track Man’ and stuff, so decided to put a new driver in the bag. I used it the last couple of days and I’ve hit it pretty well, so I’m excited to see what they’re like.

“I had a full week down in Florida last week practicing with them. I came here on Monday with six drivers and I managed to whittle it down to one today, which is good.

“After a day, I’m down to one, so I’m pretty happy with that. Yeah, just obviously going into the U.S. Open, probably not the most ideal time to change, but some fresh grooves on the irons, I feel like they spin a little bit more, which might be helpful at Winged Foot trying to stop the ball on some of those greens, so it could help me going forward.”

Organisers have drawn Lowry to play the opening two rounds of the Safeway in the company of fellow Open champion, Phil Mickelson and also Brendan Steele

The trio will tee-off at 8.30pm Thursday (Irish time).


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