Shane Lowry: Brooks Koepka’s rivalry jibe will only fuel Rory McIlroy’s fire

There's a lot going on as the season reaches its climax.

Rory Brooks Shane

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No matter what Rory McIlroy does – it doesn’t surprise me.

His win last weekend at the WGC HSBC Champions in China was some response to Brooks Koepka’s alleged ‘jibe’. The last thing you want to do is give one of the best players in the world more ammunition to go out there and post better scores.

I’m not sure how Brooks said it or why he said it to be honest. Sometimes comments can be taken out of context.

It’s good for the game though.

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It’s good for golf that there’s a rivalry among competitive people at the top of the world rankings. It gets people talking about the game and will tee up next season nicely.

I’d say Rory will be looking to answer Brooks a few more times next year too! The Majors are obviously very important to both – but Rory will give it a good go at being World No 1 when he plays in Dubai too.

It should all add a nice bit of spice to next season.

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No show like a ‘Bo’ show

Even my caddy, Bo, got in the act in China, winning the Caddy of the Year award. He deserved it. HSBC do a great job and put on a big night for the caddies. It’s voted for by the caddies and the players and it’s all good fun.

There were a few not-so-serious awards for like best dressed, the worst dressed – Bo would always win that – and other stuff.

It’s a bit of craic and there’s a bit of a pi**take and then there’s a few awards given out.

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Tiger shows his claws

And if Rory and Brooks think they’re going to have the spotlight to themselves next season – what about Tiger Woods’  performance in Japan? It was awesome.

He seemed to win fairly easily as well, which is not great news for the rest of us because he’s back firing on all cylinders.

He’s amazing. He really is. Every time he doesn’t play for a while and comes back and performs like that. It’s incredible that he’s able to do it. He’s one of the very few players – if not the only one who is able to do that.

Every time Tiger wins, it’s good for the game and good for the players as the interest levels are off the charts when Tiger is around. To equal Sam Snead’s record of 82 tournament wins is incredible and if injuries hadn’t curtailed his career during those bad years, he’d probably be over 100 wins by now.

It’s absolutely frightening to even think that.

It’s still on my bucket list to get paired with him, but maybe not at the Augusta Masters next year – a lower key event might be better!

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Turkey before Christmas

I tee it up on Thursday in the Turkish Open which has always been good to me. I’ve finished T8 and T14 the last two seasons (at a different venue) but the Antalya golf course is great. I really like it and it’s a tournament I can go close in.

If I can put four good scores together – I’ll do alright.

I’d be quietly confident about doing well in Turkey as I always look forward to it and the Ryder Cup points that are on offer, are a big motivation too.

I’ve slipped a couple of spots to third in the Race to Dubai rankings, but I’ve always said it will come down to these big tournaments in Turkey and the finale in Dubai in a fortnight’s time.

I’ll just try to play my best and see what happens.

Whatever comes of it – it will still have been a great year, so I can go out for the next couple weeks and play freely to put myself in the best position I can to be Europe’s top golfer by the end of it.

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