Shane Lowry keen for battle since watching Padraig Harrington at 2006 Ryder Cup
Shane Lowry was a promising teenage amateur when he watched Padraig Harrington play his part in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at the K Club.
Fifteen years on he will be part of the European team attempting to retain the trophy at Whistling Straits, one of three rookies on a side captained by Harrington but also one of four major champions in the 12-man team.
“The K Club was an incredible experience and if you had asked me walking into the course that day if I’d ever be competing in one, I’d have laughed,” Lowry said.
“I went with a couple of members of the golf club. I don’t even know how I got a ticket. I was 19 at the time and, obviously, hugely into my golf. I was a pretty good amateur.
“I went and experienced the whole thing and it was incredible. It’s bigger now than it was then too, so I’m so excited to see the grandstands, the first tee and all that jazz.
“It’s incredible I’m part of it now. Will I think back to it (2006) on the first tee? God knows what I’ll be thinking walking on to the first tee. I’ll just think about making contact!
“All that stuff is exciting. I wonder if it could get much more difficult than the first tee at Portrush on the Sunday? I’d probably say ‘no’, but I might know more in a week’s time.”
In the aftermath of his Open Championship triumph at Portrush, Lowry made no secret of his desire to secure a Ryder Cup debut, especially with good friend Harrington already appointed captain.
The 34-year-old went into the final qualifying event in the last automatic place, but was knocked out of the side by Bernd Wiesberger’s performance at Wentworth and had to rely on a wild card from Harrington.
“I’ve known all along he wanted me in the team, but he wanted me to make the team,” Lowry added.
“It’s not that I gave them no choice, but I feel personally that, no matter who was captain, I would have got a pick.
“I’m not one that bigs myself up or talks about myself, but I felt I’d played good enough to make it whether it was Paddy or whoever that was captain. I was probably as close as you can get without doing it, so that probably made up their minds.
“As he is my mate, I definitely wanted to make the team even more. But now I’m in it, I want to make sure we win it for him because he deserves to win it.
“The career he has had, he is one of, if not the best sportsman to come out of Ireland. So I want to win for him and that’s what it’s all about.
“It’s going to be difficult – the Americans are strong, but I feel we have assembled a good team and an experienced team that is playing good golf. I’m excited about it.”
Matt Fitzpatrick responds to Ryder Cup disappointment with Andalucia Masters win
The Yorkshireman was bogey-free in the final round at the notoriously difficult Valderrama.
Rory McIlroy two shots off the lead after sizzling 62 in Las Vegas
The Northern Irishman shot his lowest score since 2019 to take second place heading into the final round.
Rory McIlroy looking to kick on after emotional Ryder Cup
McIlroy broke down in tears in a rare show of emotion in Wisconsin.
Jon Rahm keen to win at Valderrama for ‘historic reasons and nostalgia’
The Spaniard is hoping to perform on home soil.
‘Stupid is as stupid does’ – Phil Mickelson criticises club length restriction
The R&A and USGA have brought in a ‘model local rule’ to limit all clubs other than putters to a maximum of 46 inches.
Top-level golf tournaments to be given option of imposing limit on club length
This could curb the big-hitting likes of Bryson DeChambeau in their continual quest for greater length off the tee.
THE CJ CUP: Vegas links that could help us hit the jackpot this week
The PGA Tour remains in Las Vegas this week and several players in the field have some home advantage which could prove significant.
Betting preview: Sam Burns to continue impressive form in the Shriners Children’s Open
The PGA Tour heads to Las Vegas this week and Planet Sport tipster Jack Kelliher has four selections for the tournament.
Feuding rivals Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka to clash in ‘The Match’
Tensions have run high between the pair since early 2019.