Shane Lowry: I feel a sense of duty towards the Irish Open

The Paddy Power Ambassador on this week’s Irish Open and why he’s not talking out of his a*** about the US Open.

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It’s great to be back home for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open that tees off at Galgorm Castle tomorrow. I’ve never played the course before but I’m really looking forward to it.

It’s an achievement in itself that we have an Irish Open at all with the pandemic and the tournament having to shift to this September slot.

While I wouldn’t say that I owe anything to the Irish Open, I do feel a sense of duty towards it and to support it. It kick-started my career when I won it as an amateur in 2009 and I’ve always said that if the tournament went ahead – I’d play in it.

And I’m more than happy to do that.

Shane-Lowry2--wins-at-Baltray-2009

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Behind closed doors

It will be strange to play behind closed doors as traditionally there’s been huge galleries cheering on the home players, but that’s the way it is and that’s what I’ve been doing in the States. We’ll just have to get on with it and see what happens.

Put it this way, after last weekend’s US Open, I’m looking forward to getting back to a ‘friendlier’ golf course.

A few people might think I’m talking out of my a*** saying I’m happy with my form having finished +15 for the four days at Winged Foot, but you have to see that in context.

Players who finished +6 were inside the Top 10 and only the winner, Bryson DeChambeau, finished under par.

Winged Foot was brutally tough. One stray shot out of position made it so hard to recover. It was one of those tournaments where you didn’t have to go too far wrong to get punished heavily.

Bryson-DeChambeau-wins-US-Open-2020

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Avoid big numbers

I very rarely run up big numbers now, but I had two triple bogeys in my round on Saturday out of nowhere – one from the middle of the fairway!

I was +3 for my round after three holes on Sunday but rallied to shoot -1 for my last 15 holes on Sunday, which is really good around there.

It was difficult to take at the time, but if I can avoid those big numbers that I posted on Saturday and get closer to Sunday’s figures, I’ll be looking to build on that this week at Galgorm Castle.

If I cut them out, I’m not that far away. As hard as it was, I really enjoyed the test and the challenge and that’s the way a US Open should be.

Success for me any week is a win. Some weeks you finish Top 10 and you’re happy but I’m looking to make a few more birdies to give myself a chance in the Irish Open.

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20×20 Initiative

I’ll be wearing the 20×20 logo on my shirts this week too as one of my sponsors, Immedis, also sponsor lady golfer Stephanie Meadow. They came up with the idea at the start of this year and I did a photo-shoot with them to support equal opportunities for girls in all sports.

I’ve a daughter and the fact that sport has been so good to me means I’d love for her to have the same opportunities without any barriers being put in her way, in whatever she wants to do.

It’s kind of cool that since my involvement was made public, the Social Media reaction has been incredible. Hopefully now I can shoot a few good scores and 20×20 will be out there front and centre.

I’m going to make the most of it this week as it will be my last tournament as I’ll be taking take some downtime before I return to the States.

I haven’t seen my family for a while now and it’s been a heavy schedule on the PGA Tour with the abridged season.

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