Shane Lowry, pictured here in Croke Park, is intent on proving that he is more than a one hit wonder. INPHO
By Joe McDonald
There are ways of celebrating and then there was Shane Lowry’s way.
After winning The Open Championship at Royal Portrush, Lowry went to Dublin and celebrated with friends and even a clip of him singing “The Fields of Athenry” made it to social media.
“It was just on,” Lowry said before The Northern Trust at Liberty National. “It just happened. There was plenty more moments from that night that wasn’t captured on video thankfully. That was one that was — and it obviously went out there.”
Life has changed for Lowry, who went from obscure golfer on the tour to Irish national hero almost overnight.
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He said he received a huge ovation from the 60,000 in attendance at the GAA Hurling Semifinals at Croke Park in Dublin.
“The support I’ve got back home has just been incredible,” he said.
“I haven’t really sat back and thought about it a lot but what I feel. Hopefully it’s going to get kids playing the game.
“It does feel like it has had that effect a little bit over the last few weeks and hopefully I can move forward and become more successful, as well, and make kids want to start playing golf, too.”
Now for the hard part.
The Offaly native wants to prove he’s more than a one hit wonder. This is the first time since The Open he’s playing in a tournament, so he wants a strong follow-up in the Fedex Playoffs.
And that’s not going to be easy, because players like Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy will have an advantage since they have more points coming in.
“Yeah, look, I think looking at the new system and the new format here, I think you need to be in the top ten, top, maybe top twelve going into the Tour Championships to have a chance,” he said. “Look, as good as Brooks Koepka and those guys are, to give them two shots a day would be extremely difficult.
“I think my main goal for the upcoming weeks is to maybe try and sneak inside the top fifteen or top ten going into Atlanta, and when you’re there, just give it one hundred percent and see where it leaves you.
“Because look, I started this year with no card over here, and you know, I’ve got my card here for the next five years. No matter what happens with me the next few weeks, it’s all bonus. It’s all bonus territory for me. I’m just going to go out and give it my best shot and see where it leaves me.”
But he will always have The Open and that little trophy, which came with him to New York.
Lowry reminisced on that weekend: “A lot of players have — Wednesday of a major, you kind of get a little bit uptight and a little bit anxious of how you’re feeling and how you’re feeling. I had a great conversation with my coach that night. I went out Thursday and I felt like I played lovely. Shot a nice score. Got myself right into the tournament, really where I wanted to be.
“Then after ten holes on Friday, I was leading the tournament by a couple of shots and I was flying. I felt sort of the back nine on Friday, I started to look at the leaderboard and let it slip a little bit.
“I tried to get to the clubhouse quicker than I should have, do you know what I mean. I didn’t keep flowing.
“If anything that really helped me on Saturday because when I got going on Saturday, I just put the foot down and just kept going.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever been in that place before, but it’s a nice place to be. I felt like I was going to birdie every hole. I felt like nothing was a problem. I enjoyed that day.
“Obviously Sunday was incredible to win The Open that day, but the Saturday on the golf course, honestly was one of the most surreal things that’s happened. The crowds, the singing, everything that was going on, it was unbelievable.”
Memories that will last him a lifetime and now Lowry is no longer that obscure golfer on the tour.
“Yeah, look, it’s changed my life a little bit. I’m definitely more recognized now, and even coming over here to events, but if anything when you are like that, it makes you feel more comfortable,” he said.
“That’s the way I feel, anyway. They are not calling me ‘Beef’ or they are not calling me ‘J.B. Holmes’ out there, anyway. That’s a plus.”
It certainly is.
Joe McDonald is Publisher/Editor with Sportsday Publishing, www.nysportsday.com