Shane Lowry: Rookie by name, not by nature

As the 2021 Ryder Cup is finally upon us, Shane Lowry is out there to prove that the term “rookie” is just a label.

As Lowry answered questions from the press on Wednesday Morning at Whistling Straits, he was defiant in the face of assumptions that he would take a backseat and just enjoy the experience.

A confident Lowry replied: “I do believe I’ll have a big part to play in this team this week, and I do believe that I can bring a lot when it comes to it on Friday, Saturday, Sunday when push comes to shove in this tournament”.

Lowry is no stranger to performing on the big stage, producing some stellar golf to finish six strokes clear of teammate this week, Tommy Fleetwood, and lifting the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush in front of the home fans.

Another reason why the US team should be wary of Lowry is the course conditions at Whistling Straits. The man from Clara is going to relish the links like conditions and 20+ mile an hour winds that are scheduled, having spent most of his amateur career on links golf courses and of course the aforementioned Open triumph on the Dunluce Links in Portrush.

Lowry is yet another example of the term rookie merely being another word for first time player.

He believes his debut in the competition is long overdue, and feels he has earned his place in the team after coming close to selection in 2016 at Hazeltine and not doing enough to deserve a place in 2018 at Le Golf National.

He also thinks that a Ryder Cup appearance will strengthen his argument as one of Irelands greats, “For me it was something that I really wanted to do and I felt like I had to do, if I want to be up there with those guys when you’re talking about really good or great Irish golfers”.

After struggling for form in the wake of his Open win and the postponement of the Ryder Cup until 2021, Lowry had a brilliant summer of 2021 and did enough to be one of Captain Padraig Harrington’s 3 picks alongside Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia.

Paul McGinley believes that his fellow Irishman is deserving of his place on the European team.

“I said all week at Wentworth that Lowry deserved a pick, as he has been one of the best performing Europeans over the summer and he has the pedigree as a major champion, plus Whistling Straits is a golf course that should suit him. I’d like to have had Rose too, as he is coming into form at the right time, but with only three picks, his options were limited”, McGinley asserted.

Along with fellow rookie Viktor Hovland, Lowry is ready to prove that experience isn’t everything and come Friday, he will finally be ready to fly the flag high for Ireland and Europe and realise a lifelong dream.


Rian Noctor

Image credit: BBC