Shane Lowry with his  wife Wendy and daughter Iris  and the winner’s trophy following his victory in the  Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Photograph: Neville Hopwood/EPA

To win on my first week out in 2019 was perfect, I couldn't have scripted it any better

Shane Lowry plays out of  a bunker  during a pro-am round ahead of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

I’ve never done sports psychology before . . . but I’m really enjoying how it’s developing

 Belgium’s Thomas Pieters with Shane Lowry during a mixed tournament for the Offaly man at the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai, China. Photograph: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Looking forward I believe myself and Graeme McDowell have great chance at World Cup

 Shane Lowry lines up a putt on the first green during the fourth round of the British Masters at The Grove. Photo:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

I’ve 16 rounds of competitive golf left this year and aim to make the most of them

The 16th hole at Tralee. I’d never played either Tralee  or Waterville and it was a real treat to finally get to play two of the finest links courses in the world.  Photograph:  David Cannon/Getty

Playing Tralee and Waterville the perfect preparation for upcoming Dunhill Links

 Thomas Pieters: his victory in  ‘Made in Denmark’ proved key in clinching his Ryder Cup place. Photograph: Henning Bagger/AFP/Getty

Disappointment of missing out on Ryder Cup compounded by absence from FedEx Cup

Shane Lowry: “The way I see it is that I have to give myself every chance of making the team. If I didn’t go to play in Denmark, I’d be thinking, ‘what if?’” Photographer: David Cannon/Getty Images

I need a win in Wyndham Championship or in Denmark next week to make the cut

Shane Lowry has changed his tournament schedule to give himself a better chance of making the European team for the Ryder Cup. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

If Darren Clarke picked me, I feel I would perform. I certainly know I’m good enough

 Henrik Stenson celebrates winning The Open Championship 2016 at Royal Troon. “It was the most unbelievable golf I’ve ever seen.” Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

The PGA in Baltusrol next week would be the ideal place to bounce back to form

Phil Mickelson tees off on the 11th hole during a pro-am round ahead of the AAM Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The last few weeks have seen a lot of decision making, especially on the Olympic front

 Dustin Johnson poses with the winner’s trophy after winning the US Open as Shane Lowry looks on. Photo:  David Cannon/Getty Images

‘I’d give anything to have those last five holes at the US Open in Oakmont back again’

Shane Lowry waits on the 17th hole as he headed towards a missed cut in the  second round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

I need to stay patient and that will be my mantra going to Oakmont for the Major

Shane Lowry celebrates with Keith Wood during the Pro-Am at Wentworth. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Right now I’m fully focused on contending here at the BMW PGA Championship

The famous par three 17th on the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Photo:  Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

At Sawgrass your iron play has to be good and the short game is key

 Shane Lowry and TV presenter Jenny Buckley at the launch of the  One for Ireland campaign in aid of youth homelessness, coordinated by the Irish Youth Foundation.  Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

After my recent marriage to Wendy, I’m ready now to get back out on the road

Jason Day in action last week:  “His driving. His iron play. His short game. If you add them all together, and when he is on form, then he is very hard to beat.” Photograph: Eric Gay/AP

This week’s Shell Houston Open good preparation for next week’s US Masters

Charl Schwartzel won the Valspar Championship. “Seeing Charl win was actually encouraging because it showed that any player is only one week away from winning.” Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

My game feels in good shape as Dell Matchplay begins run-up to the Masters in Augusta

Shane Lowry: “Yes, I used some bad language, and I’m not going to condone that, but nobody got hurt.” Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Thoughts now turn to this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship

Shane Lowry: “The highlight of the three weeks? It has to have been the Phoenix Open. I mean, 200,000 at a golf tournament on a Saturday?” Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

‘I’ve had a top-10, a 13th and an okay finish in my first three tournaments on tour’

The crowds here in Scottsdale are massive and I’m looking forward to playing the 16th – one of golf’s iconic par 3s

Balmy conditions and pristine course for Phoenix Open a huge contrast to last week

 Andy Sullivan and Shane Lowry of Team Europe: “The whole experience of playing in the EurAsia Cup has whetted my appetite for the year ahead and on trying to make the team for the Ryder Cup.”  Photo:  Arep Kulal/Getty Images

The Ryder Cup, the Olympics, the Majors – there’s so much to play for in 2016

“The most amazing thing of all was seeing a mother cheetah teaching her three cubs how to hunt impala, a species of antelope. Our guide had never encountered it before”

I definitely saw some things on safari that you would never see around Clara

A sign showing previous winners of the Race To Dubai before the start of play at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

I’ll be honest, the past two weeks in China were very disappointing and I need to improve

 Shane Lowry  hits his tee-shot on the first hole during the Pro Am event prior to the start of the WGC-HSBC Champions at the Sheshan  Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Photo:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Pushing the ball further forward in my stance led to an improvement in my game

Ireland’s players react after losing the World Cup  quarter-final. Pain of defeat is similar for all sportspeople.  Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty  Images

Four big tournaments represent an exciting opportunity as Race to Dubai hots up

Shane Lowry was yet to turn pro the last time the British Masters was played. Photograph: Getty

I wasn’t even a pro when the British Masters was last played, but Woburn is a great course

Walker Cup players Gavin Moynihan, Cormac Sharvin, Gary Hurley, Paul Dunne and Jack Hume ahead of a training season at Portmarnock Golf Club. They were joined by Shane Lowry. Photograph: Golffile|Fran Caffrey|GUI

One of my goals for 2016 will be to make that Ryder Cup in Hazeltine, that’s for sure

“I’ll be honest: wins are everything in golf. No-one plays to finish in the top-five, or to finish second or third. You would definitely swap a lot of good finishes for a win, so I think it has been a pretty successful year so far in that regards.” Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

All main goals set at the start of year already achieved so it was good time to get break

“I couldn’t see it in the air (approach to 18 from the left rough), couldn’t see where it was going, and then I just saw it coming down on the green. That was it, I was a winner.” Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

‘My goal for the rest of the season is to get another win, simple as that’

I texted Paul Dunne on the Sunday night and told him I’d watched every bit of the golf that day and that he’d played better than anyone. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.

Failing to live up to expectations at Open is something I must learn from

When Shane Lowry first played at St Andrews he was carrying his own bag and the wind was blowing at 40mph. He shot an 81. Photograph:   Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

St Andrews is a course I know so I’ve been keeping practice rounds to minimum

Both myself and my caddie Dermot Byrne left Chambers Bay singing the same tune, that it was one of the best and most enjoyable weeks we’d ever had at a golf tournament. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

I want to play on both circuits and be a consistent Major contender

 Beau Hossler  hits a shot as JB Holmes looks on during a practice round prior to the start of the 115th US Open Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington. Photo:  Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Course is probably the closest thing to a true links outside of Ireland and the UK

Shane Lowry using a sand wedge to putt on the 13th green during the Irish Open at Royal County Down. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

Irish Open was not ideal but biggest lesson I have learned is to be more patient on course

BMW PGA at Wentworth a big tournament and last year’s second place sets me up nicely

 A general view of the famous 17th green at the TPC Sawgrass Stium in Ponte Vedre Beach, Floriday. Photo:  Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Golfing gods have proved a little unkind to me in recent weeks

Shane Lowry during the Masters tournament in Augusta. “The only mistake is if you don’t learn from such bad experiences,” he says. photograph: Charlie Riedel/AP

Missing the cut at Augusta left me gutted but I was probably more tense than normal

 Shane Lowry  hits an approach shot as his caddie looks on during a practice round prior to the start of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National. Photo:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

I can’t wait to get out and play in the tournament. I’m happy with my preparations.

Shane Lowry is in San Antonio this week for the Valero Texas, his last tournament before the US Masters. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Masters is on my mind – what happened at Bay Hill will ensure I’m not complacent

Shane Lowry of Ireland plays his second shot at the par three, 13th hole, during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral Blue Monster Course on March 8th. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images.

Now looking forward to going back Stateside and next two tournaments, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Valero Texas Open

Shane Lowry: “I’ve only played two tournaments so far this season, played quite well and hopefully I can keep doing it next week in the WGC-Cadillac championship in Doral.” Photograph Scott Halleran/Getty Images

I’m not training to make any drastic changes but I do want to get stronger physically

Shane Lowry finished in seventh place in his first tournament of the season – the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South in La Jolla, California. Photo: Josh Hedges/Getty

There is a win not too far away. I just need to keep doing what I am doing

Shane Lowry acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during the third round of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

There were ups and downs but finishing on a high and coming home make it worthwhile

A relieved  Shane Lowry embraces his caddie Dermot Byrne on the 18th green after the finishing his final round of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates  in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Season ends on high with fifth-place finish at World Tour Championship in Dubai and likely invite in to US Masters

Shane Lowry in action during the WGC-HSBC Champions in China last week. Photograph:  Scott Halleran/Getty Images.

‘I would love to win one of the next two weeks and I feel that I can’

Justin Rose, Ian Poulter,  Wu Ashun of China and Paul McGinley play from a bunker on the 18th hole prior to the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club   in Shanghai, China. Photo:  Matthew Lewis/Getty

With extra points and big money on offer it’s time to knuckle down to business

 Shane Lowry  on the seventh tee during  his  first-round match of the World Match Play Championship at The London Club yesterday. Photograph:  Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Lowry delighted to be back playing matchplay, a format he loves

 Former Ireland rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll talks with Shane Lowry  on the first hole during the final practice round prior to the 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course  at St Andrews . Photograph:  David Cannon/Getty Images

‘I love links golf and come here with an extra swagger after three top-10s in my last six starts’

The funny thing is that most of the talk among players this week – at least so far – has been about Billy Horschel and how he isn’t in the American team. He wins the FedEx Cup. He goes second-first-first in the last three weeks. And he, like most of us, will be watching on television. Photograph: Tannen Maury/EPA

After Wales Open I’ll be watching events from a couch in Portugal

France’s Victor Dubuisson plays a shot during yesterday’s pro-am before today’s start of the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

So, it’s back to business for me this week after three weeks away from tournament golf

Shane Lowry plays his second to the 18th during the third round of the US PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

I needed to win or finish runner-up at Valhalla to make the Ryder Cup team but now I’m aiming for a good end to the season

Shane Lowry practicing at Valhalla Golf Club ahead of the start of the US PGA. The course has been playing easier than expeecte in practice. Photograph: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

If I play at my best and get the breaks you never know what could happen

 Shane Lowry   tees off during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England. Photo:  Stuart Franklin/Getty

‘But I have momentum to take with me to the PGA at Valhalla following my best-ever finish at a Major’

Shane Lowry shelters from the rain during the BMW International Open in Germany last month. “Lads, I’d rather be playing in the sun with no wind.” Photograph: Getty Images

I love getting back to links golf. It’s different and it’s real.

Shane Lowry searches in vain for his lost ball on the 18th during the Irish Open at Fota Island. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

BMW International in Cologne will give me the chance to get over missing the cut in both the US Open and the Irish Open by a singl(...)

That birdie putt on the 18th green to secure second place in the PGA Championship at Wentworth. “I still don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. If ever there is a thin line between winning and losing, I have just discovered it.” Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The locker room is completely empty. Well, empty apart from two players. Me and Rory. What we say to each other stays with each ot(...)

Caddies react to the tragic news of caddie Ian McGregor’s sudden death from a heart attack during the Madeira Open last weekend. Photograph: Octavio Passos/Reuters

Ian McGregor’s death will be in the back of all our minds this week in Spain

Shane Lowry  during round two of the recent Volvo China Open at Genzon Golf Club.

I’m back home for a couple of weeks and plan to return to action in the Spanish Open

Shane Lowry and his caddie take a break during the Hassan II Trophy in Agadir, Morocco.

I’ve become the butt end of jokes from some of my so-called friends in the locker room and caddies on tour

I’d always say that Lee Westwood – even though he isn’t playing too well at the moment – will always give you a run for your money.

I’ve arrived in Sotogrande, Spain eager to get going but after a really good week at home

Shane Lowry in action during the second round of the 2014 Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Shane Lowry, the future Irish Open winner, took up golf aged nine when his GAA All-Ireland medal winning dad got him clubs

 Shane Lowry, beard and all, during the third round of the Trophee Hassan II Golf at Golf du Palais Royal last weekend. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Golf is such a hard game to focus on going forward, but I think I have a good team around me to maintain that focus

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