2019 Open Championship champ and Paddy Power ambassador Shane Lowry is gearing up for British Open glory once again and he’s turned to the best to get his pre-tournament prep just right.
But, as everyone is on holiday after the Euros, Paddy Power had to do.
Our fearless leader joined the Co Offaly star round 18 holes to get a feel on Lowry’s mood ahead of the 2021 Open and the defence of his biggest win on Tour to date. And, as he’s the shy and retiring type, Paddy insisted the chat would remain between the two of them… which means it’s available to watch on Paddy’s Youtube channel in full and it’s also being broadcast on Virgin Media Two in Ireland on Wednesday night at 10pm.
Here’s how they got on…
Shane’s epic 2019 success sparked huge celebrations across the country and while the party seemed to go on for weeks, when Paddy and Shane caught up for an informal chat over a round of golf at Portmarnock Golf Club in recent days the sportsman admitted it was all worth it.
“People probably think I sit at home every night and drink out of the Claret Jug,” he told Paddy in ‘Shane Lowry: In the Open’, which can be viewed in full on Paddy Power Youtube Channel, and will be broadcast in Ireland on Wednesday night at 10pm on Virgin Media Two.
“It’s not quite like that but you can take winning for granted if you’re not careful. In golf if you win 2% of the time you’ve had a good career, so you have to enjoy the highs.
“I felt like I arrived in Portrush under the radar in 2019. It was all about Rory McIlroy, but I was playing so well I shot four-under on the first day and still didn’t feel like it was my best. I finished badly in the second round but still had the lead. I went back to the hotel and watched Love Island!”
Lowry’s defining moment of the 2019 Open Championship came on Saturday when he shot a course record 63 to move four shots ahead of Tommy Fleetwood by the end of the third round.
“That was the best round of my life. I missed a few chances early on but then on the back nine I was making everything. It was a huge day in my career. After that I knew if I didn’t win it from there it would be a disaster. If I hadn’t won that I still wouldn’t be over it now.
“I didn’t sleep then, I didn’t have breakfast, I barely had lunch. I was sick. The first tee on the final round at Portrush was the most intimidating place I’ve ever been. When you look around at a golf tournament everyone is having a great time apart from the players and caddies. It’s incredibly stressful.
“All the way round all I could think about was holding the trophy. I couldn’t wait to be finished. I walked down the fairway on the 18th and looked up at the leaderboard and I couldn’t believe it was my name.”
But as the world’s best players descend on England for the week in the hopes of lifting the Claret Jug, Lowry knows if the weather turns it won’t suit everyone.
“I wouldn’t be more comfortable on a links course but I just know how to play them,” he told Paddy.
“If it’s raining during the first round on Thursday you may as well forget about 100 guys that are there. They won’t know how to deal with it, they won’t want to be there, some of them won’t have played in those conditions for a while. They’ll be in their private jet and going home.
“I’ve been to Royal St George’s once and I shot a round of 81. I remember watching the tournament there in 2011 and it looks extremely difficult,” Lowry says.
Shane is 28/1 to retain his title – something that hasn’t been done since Padraig Harrington won back-to-back in 2007 and 2008. US Open winner Jon Rahm is the 13/2 favourite followed by four-time major winner Brooks Koepka and 2017 Open Champion Jordan Spieth.
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