‘Didn’t win. End of story’ - Lowry ready to banish US Open regrets

Lowry became first player since 1998 to fail to turn a four-shot 54-hole lead into victory

Ireland’s Shane Lowry is hopeful he has turned a corner after a run of poor form. Photograph: Reuters

Ireland’s Shane Lowry is hopeful he has turned a corner after a run of poor form. Photograph: Reuters

 

Shane Lowry admits he struggled to take the positives out of his performance in last year’s US Open as he looks to continue a welcome upturn in form at Erin Hills.

Lowry became the first player since Payne Stewart in 1998 to fail to turn a four-shot 54-hole lead into victory after struggling to a closing 76 at Oakmont 12 months ago.

And the now 30-year-old could then only finish 36th in the defence of his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational title before a run of four straight missed cuts effectively ended his chances of qualifying for the Ryder Cup.

Such a run of form meant Lowry slipped from 25th in the world rankings after Oakmont to a low of 76th entering last month’s BMW PGA Championship, where he was in contention until double bogeys on the 15th and 17th in the final round.

An eagle on the last at least ensured Lowry ended the week in style and he followed a tie for sixth at Wentworth with a tie for 15th in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

Next on the agenda is the year’s second major championship at the unknown Wisconsin venue of Erin Hills, which only opened in 2007 and hosted the 2011 US Amateur.

“I’ve seen pictures and I’m hoping the rough isn’t as long as it looks in the photos,” Lowry said. “We just have to see when we get there.

“I personally don’t like it when they try and make inland links golf courses, but listen, that’s the course we’re at and we’ll have to go there and try and do a good job.”

Asked what he took away from last year’s performance at Oakmont, Lowry added: “I don’t know to be honest. I’ve talked about it that much over the last year. Didn’t win. End of story. I finished second.

“But it was a great week. I showed that I can win and I showed that I’m as good as anyone. That’s what I had to take out of it. Obviously I didn’t do a great job in taking the positives out of it at the end of last year.

“It’s not easy. You go into the next major and people are talking about you winning, and I’ve never had that before. It’s just not easy. And then obviously the Ryder Cup, I was trying to make that and didn’t do that.

“So all in all I was pretty disappointed with how it ended up last year, but look, that’s behind me now. I have a great run of tournaments coming up over the summer, so I’m looking forward to doing well and trying to get up that FedEx Cup standings and Race to Dubai and back up the world rankings and back to where I feel I belong, I suppose.”

Two of Lowry’s three top-10 finishes in majors have come in the US Open — he was ninth at Chambers Bay in 2015 — and the three-time European Tour winner admits he relishes the tough test it usually provides.

“Yeah, I love it,” he added. “I think that kind of golf suits me. You look at the courses I do well on and I do all right on Torrey Pines every year. I need to go out and just play proper golf, that’s what I feel like, and it suits my game.

“I shot 11-under for four rounds around Bridgestone when it was rock hard. Obviously won by two and that’s the best golf I can play. I love places like that. That’s why I love playing those tournaments.”

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