SHANE LOWRY SAYS his brush with glory at the Andalucía Valderrama Masters, which was ultimately won by tournament host Sergio Garcia, amounted to his ‘best week of the year’.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed a strong second half of the season and mounted a challenge on the final day of the weather-delayed tournament in Spain, only to come up just short of a first win in three years.
Nevertheless, Lowry is taking ‘serious positives’ from his performance as he jumps back up to 70th in the world and looks ahead to the season-ending leg of tournaments, including the lucrative Turkish Airlines Open and Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.
Lowry’s second-place finish in Andalucía earned him a cheque for €220,220 and thus sees him leapfrog up the Race to Dubai standings into 43rd position, breathing fresh life into his season.
“I was going well yesterday but I came back out this morning on fire as well,” he said after today’s final round in Spain, with Garcia defending his title by a four-shot margin.
“Birdied ten, 11 and 12, flying, lipped out on 13 and 14 and then hit the worst shot I’ve hit all year on 15. Made double there, but the positive is that it’s probably the only bad shot I hit in that round.
“A 66 around here and being in contention is pretty good. I’m just disappointed I didn’t put a bit of pressure on Sergio.
“I had it to within one at one stage and then I made double and he made birdie. That was it. But it’s my best week of the year, serious positives to take from it, and I’ve got a great four weeks coming up now to finish the season.”
Lowry had slipped as low as 92nd in the world during the summer on the back of his disappointing performance at the Open, and falling outside the world’s top 100 was a genuine fear for the Offaly golfer.
But he has managed to turn his form and fortune around in recent weeks, his final-round 66 might not have been enough to win the title but assured him of a place at next month’s World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Lowry will take a weekend off before a busy end to the season which will see him play four straight tournaments, taking in the Turkish Airlines Open, Nedbank Challenge, the World Tour Championship and then the World Cup with Paul Dunne in Australia.
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