Shane Lowry aims to put distractions about golf’s fractures aside and become ‘selfish golfer’

Offaly golfer says you ‘just have to worry about yourself’ amid uncertain future for professional golf

Shane Lowry, pictured at a launch event for the 2024 Amgen Irish Open. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Hardly surprisingly, one of the first tournament Shane Lowry has scribbled into his diary for next year is the Amgen Irish Open – which takes place at Royal County Down on September 12th-15th – and, by then, he is “hopeful” that the ongoing turmoil in the men’s professional golfing landscape will have settled down.

Jon Rahm’s recent defection from the PGA Tour to LIV for a reputed $500 million-plus signing-on fee only served to underscore how unstable things remain since the Saudi PIF-funded tour’s arrival fractured the traditional circuits.

“There were a lot of rumours the previous weeks [about Rahm’s departure], there was a lot of chat among players, obviously my friends Rory [McIlroy] and the lads, but there’s no smoke without fire so we all thought he must be going. Not surprised, as I am not surprised by anything at the minute. It is what it is now, it’s just mad to think we won’t be playing against Jon Rahm until the Masters. He won’t be rocking up to Riviera, Bay Hill, the Players, all the big tournaments on the PGA Tour. It’s just mad to think that.

“It is what it is. I am just hopeful it all irons itself out soon, and we will be back playing together again soon. I don’t know when that will be, but hopefully soon,” said Lowry, speaking at the launch of the Irish Open which has been rebranded following Amgen’s acquisition of Horizon pharmaceutical.


Lowry – a winner of the tournament as an amateur in 2009, which fast-tracked his move into the professional ranks – has sought to put all the disruption to one side and to instead focus on his own needs as he wraps up one season and prepares to move on to a new one which will be primarily focused in the early months on the PGA Tour in building up to the Masters.

As he put it, “you just have to worry about yourself. You just have to become that selfish golfer who picks their schedule and wants to play and win the best tournaments in the world. The best tournaments in my mind are Riviera, Bay Hill, the Players, and then leading up to the Masters. They are the tournaments I want to win, and you plan accordingly to try and win those events.”

Further ahead lies the Irish Open, which Lowry described as “one of the great tournaments in the world”, and for which advance ticket sales are strong, with the shift back to a later date in the schedule to go back-to-back weeks with the BMW PGA at Wentworth finding favour with the Offaly golfer.

“I’ve always thought the date we had in July wasn’t great. I always thought if we could have it later on, it would be better. Obviously, the ideal date would be the week before the Open [occupied but the Scottish Open], but that’s not going to happen. If you get it back-to-back with Wentworth, two great weeks and a great time of year to play golf.

“I always feel the weather can be pretty good in August/September in Ireland. And it’s great Amgen have acquired Horizon and have continued on with their sponsorship; it says a lot about what the tournament has been like the last couple of years [at Mount Juliet and The K Club] and how much they feel they can grow it, too. I think it has huge potential.”

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Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times