Shane Lowry: Missing those back-to-back cuts in Malaysia and China really hurt
I’m back home for a couple of weeks and plan to return to action in the Spanish Open
Shane Lowry during round two of the recent Volvo China Open at Genzon Golf Club.
Each week when you are out on tour, there is one thing you have no control over. It is the tee time you are allotted. I know some players absolutely dread an early morning start in the first round and, if you were to take a straw poll in the locker room, there’s no doubt you’d find the preference among 90 per cent of the players would be for a late-early tee-time: meaning you play in the afternoon in the first round, and early the next day.
I’m actually inclined to hope for the other way round, which puts me in the minority. The reason for this is that I am always anxious to get going in a tournament, to get up and running. So, an early tee-time – even if that means an alarm call at an unearthly hour – doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
In China last week, I actually had one of those 4.30am alarm calls on the Thursday morning. Unfortunately, my play in the China Open – an opening 72 backed up by a frustrating 77 – didn’t go to plan and I was home in Ireland, after another missed cut, by Saturday. Two days earlier than planned or anticipated. Much too early for my liking, especially after heading out to Asia with so much optimism and looking to kickstart the season!
All the hard work that is put in on the range and elsewhere is designed to reap the benefits in tournaments. To travel half-way around the world and to miss back-to-back cuts in Malaysia and China in successive weeks really hurt.
I missed by one in Malaysia but it is the one in China that probably hurt more. I should never have been in that position. It shouldn’t have been a factor coming down the stretch. For 32 holes I played really well and should never have been in danger and things just got away from me. I guess it is just one of those things that you have to chalk down and move on.
Anyway, that wake-up call in the middle of the night is one that has happened a few times in my career, including back in the British Open at St Andrews in 2010 and it didn’t do me – or Louis Oosthuizen, for that matter, who had a similar early call and went on to win that week – any harm.
To be honest, you are inclined not to entirely trust the alarm going off when those early tee-times come your way. It means you eat early the evening before, you’re probably in bed before 8pm, get some sleep and, then, you’re instinctively waking up on the hour every hour from about two o’clock to make sure that you don’t lie in and oversleep.
The tee-times on tour are done off the world rankings and those who have won tournaments with the top players in the what are called the TV groups, usually three groups on either side of the draw. You’re allocated early-late or late-early tee times.