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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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Lowry finds the right balance between family and golf after a 'whirlwind' two years

The 30-year-old has a big summer ahead but the birth of his daughter has given Lowry a fresh perspective on life on Tour.

THERE’S SOMETHING REFRESHINGLY fascinating about Shane Lowry. Honest, humble and easygoing, you could listen to him all day and the subject matter doesn’t need to be golf.

He’s come along way since that breakthrough, and extraordinary, week in Baltray eight years ago when, as a 22-year-old amateur, he won the Irish Open and announced himself to the world.

PGA: The Masters - Second Round Lowry missed the cut at the Masters but is taking positives heading into a busy summer. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Life nowadays is a lot different for Lowry, who describes the last two years as a ‘whirlwind’ experience both on and off the course; he’s no longer the young kid who first broke onto the scene, although that infectious personality has remained.

If Baltray was his breakthrough moment, a dazzling win at Bridgestone in 2015 was very much Lowry’s coming of age as he secured his third career win to enhance his reputation further.

Since then, the Clara native has had a brush with Major glory, finishing second behind current world number one Dustin Johnson at last year’s US Open, and results in 2017 are on an upward trajectory even if he has yet to find that consistency to really mount a challenge.

Last month’s missed cut at the Masters, having carded an opening round 72, was disappointing but three top 20 finishes on the PGA Tour this season suggest Lowry is slowly starting to find his touch again having fallen from 25th to 69th in the world rankings.

“I feel like everything is trending in the right direction,” he says. “I feel like my game is getting to a place where I’m comfortable with it. I don’t think that my results have shown how good I am playing at the moment, so I don’t think I am far away.

“I have struggled on the greens for eight or nine months but I do feel that I have got better recently, in particular at Hilton Head [last week], where I made 18 birdies and an eagle in four rounds and you need to putt well to do that.”

After playing at Augusta and last week’s RBC Heritage, where he finished in a tie for 44th, Lowry has enjoyed some time at home with his wife, Wendy, and their newly-born daughter Iris.

He’ll make the journey back across the Atlantic on Sunday in preparation for the Wells Fargo Championship before heading to TPC Sawgrass for the Players Tournament.

NO FEE ONE FOR IRELAND MX-2 Shane Lowry at the launch of the One for Ireland Campaign taking place throughout the May Bank Holiday weekend. Source: MAXWELLS DUBLIN

There’s also the Memorial at Muirfield, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and the US Open on the horizon as Lowry looks to juggle his schedule and family life back at home.

“It’s mad the way your life changes,” he says. “My life over the last two years has been a bit of a whirlwind. We bought our first house, moved in there, got married and had a baby so it’s kind of like I’m starting to grow up.

“It’s a busy month, but I’ve a busy four months coming up as I think I’ll have 12 tournaments to play, but it’s a good time of year with a lot of big tournaments coming thick and fast. There’s a huge summer coming up.”

There’s also the small matter of the Irish Open at Portstewart, a tournament ‘very close’ to Lowry’s heart for obvious reasons, the Open and then a return to the scene of his most famous victory — the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational — later in the summer.

It all amounts to a hectic few months for Lowry, who is hopeful he can build on what he has done in the first half of the year having ‘gone back to basics’ with his putting.

“I am quite excited about the summer and I am very hopeful that there is a good summer around the corner,” he said positively.

“I have changed a lot over the last six or seven months. I have gone back to basics. I have gone back to an old-style putter that I used to use, gone back to an old grip and gone back to what I used to do.

“When you’re looking to get better, you need to look back at what you did when you were playing your best as opposed to doing new things when you are trying to improve.

“Golf is a very frustrating game. You need to be very patient and I need to keep persevering, keep my head down and do what I think is right and see where it leads me.

“Some weeks you go in and you don’t feel like you’re playing your best. You feel that if you get off to a decent start and you find something Thursday or Friday, that you can play your way into the tournament.

Shane Lowry Lowry has got a busy schedule ahead. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“It’s such a funny game. There’s certain weeks you go in and you feel the best you’ve
ever felt and you miss the cut. I don’t know how to explain it. But any tournament I play if I get off to a good start and hole a few putts early on, I’m in with a chance.”

Lowry is passionate about golf, it doesn’t take long in his company to appreciate that, but it’s well known that he’s not one of the pros who overthinks things and he’s able to switch off once he leaves the course or is on a down week back in Ireland.

Other priorities have helped that and the birth of his first-born child means Lowry is, naturally, eager to spend as much time as he can at home.

“It’s hard with the travelling over and back but that’s what I have to do now with a wife and child back home,” he admits. “But I won’t do any more than two weeks away from home. That’s my max.

“A lot of it is in America so I am on that Aer Lingus flight across the pond an awful lot and it gets monotonous. I travel on Sundays as I need to get there early to beat the jet lag and it does become tougher leaving but it has to be done, it’s my job and plenty of people have to do it. I don’t mind it, but it is tough.

“We’re very lucky to have Iris at home. Even when I come in after a bad day, and it’s probably the same for everyone who come home from a bad day at the office, they get to see their kids and it brightens up their day a little bit.

“It does put things into perspective. But no matter what I do, I still go out and try my best to do as well as I can, but if I don’t, I’m going to get frustrated and I’m going to get annoyed and get down about not playing well – but when I go home to her and I have her in my hands, golf is the last thing on my mind.

“Having our daughter at home, she’s everything to us.”

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Ryan Bailey

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