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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 18 April 2021

'I'd be lying if I said it was a very enjoyable week, and that's no disrespect to anyone'

Shane Lowry says added pressure means he can no longer enjoy the Irish Open.

Lowry cut a frustrated figure at Ballyliffin.
Lowry cut a frustrated figure at Ballyliffin.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Adam McKendry reports from Ballyliffin

SHANE LOWRY HAS admitted that he doesn’t find the Irish Open an enjoyable experience anymore after this year’s event at Ballyliffin saw him finish in a tie for 28th.

The Clara golfer finish two-under around the Glashedy Links, 12 shots adrift of eventual winner Russell Knox, after struggling to cope with the conditions in northern Donegal.

Lowry cut a frustrated figure for most of the tournament as he failed to ever gain any momentum out on the course and it spilt over after his final round on Sunday, a two-under 70.

“I’d be lying if I said it was a very enjoyable week, and that’s no disrespect to anyone,” he blasted. “It’s a tougher week than I normally get.

“It’s weird because I love playing in front of the Irish people, but I try my best and I try probably too hard to do well for them and for myself and for my family that’s here.

“I’ll look back on it, and I played some good golf this week. I just let it get to me for nine holes yesterday and that was the big downfall of my whole week was sort of nine holes yesterday, and I wish I could go back and play those again but unfortunately I can’t.

He added: “I wouldn’t say (it’s) suffocating, because I’m very lucky to do what I do, very lucky to be here playing the Irish Open, and I’ve actually won the tournament as well, so I’m very lucky to have that under my belt.

“It’s my own fault for letting it get to me. I said at the start of the week I was going to try and be better, but the harder you try, the harder it is.”

It left the 31-year-old, who won this tournament in 2009 as a fresh-faced amateur, struggling to sum up his week at Ballyliffin.

Shane Lowry on the 18th green Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Despite the beautiful weather, the great scenery and the blockbuster crowds, it wasn’t a positive assessment of the week as a whole for Lowry, who will be hoping for better fortunes at The Open in two weeks.

“I think the week as a whole, average is a good word to use,” he sighed. “If you look at where I finish, it’s pretty average for me I feel, especially around here. I felt like I could have done something this week.

“I think wanting it too much is probably the biggest thing. The crowds out there almost want it too much for you, as well. It’s hard. I just find it difficult. I don’t know why.

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“People at home might look at me and think I’m mad for saying that but that’s the way it is. I find it difficult. I find I put too much pressure on myself. I said at the start of the week I wasn’t going to but yesterday afternoon, I still did.

“Another Irish Open down and hopefully I’ll learn a little bit from this one. But haven’t seemed to learn from the last five or six. We’ll see.”

Lowry will now skip the Scottish Open next week at Gullane, instead opting for some rest and recovery ahead of the Open, with the third Major of the year his next event at Carnoustie.

His record at the event hasn’t exactly been stellar, having missed the cut the last three years and a ninth placed finish in 2014 his best result, and this week would suggest he has improvements to make ahead of the tournament.

But Lowry believes that after a week away from the competitive side of the game he’ll be fighting fit and ready to go at the Scottish links.

“My putter left me for nine or ten holes yesterday and somehow got it back today,” he said with an incredulous smile.

“I think there’s certain parts of my game that really need to sharpen up before Carnoustie because we all know how hard Carnoustie is, so I just need to go away now for the next week or so and try to get them better than they were this week and see what sort of game I bring to Carnoustie and try and do my best there.

“You definitely need your B+ or A game going to Carnoustie. I’ve shot some good scores around there but that’s in the Dunhill Links and I believe it’s a different animal when you get to the Open.

“Just be interested to see what it plays like. I’m looking forward to it but I’m really looking forward to a few days off first.”

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