Different Strokes: Lowry advocates for kids to play multiple sports

Murphy and Power prepped for Walker Cup; word of mouth; by the numbers and more

Shane Lowry plays his shot from the 16th tee during the second round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Shane Lowry plays his shot from the 16th tee during the second round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Shane Lowry has a bit of advice for those parents who push their children to focus – too soon – on playing just one sport.

The Offalyman played Gaelic football, hurling, soccer, pitch and putt and snooker until his late-teenage years before devoting his attention solely to golf.

As he put it, “sport is great for getting people out and getting people mentally in the right place . . . when I talk to parents who have a 12-year-old kid and they say, ‘oh, he doesn’t play anything else, he gave it up everything else because he’s focusing on his golf’, well, I just don’t agree with that at all. I tell every parent that their kids should play as many sports as possible.

“I feel that’s where I got my competitive edge. I obviously got it from my family history as well and from my dad (All-Ireland football winner Brendan) but I feel like playing a lot of sports helps children develop competitively more than anything . . . anything that was available to me, I would play.”

Power and Murphy set for Walker Cup

The sold-out signs went up early for this weekend’s Walker Cup at Seminole, where two Irish players - Kilkenny’s Mark Power and Kinsale’s John Murphy - are part of a rather lopsided GB&I team that also features eight English players with not a Scotsman or Welshman in sight.

Power, ranked 20th in the world, is on scholarship to the famed Wake Forest University and has been busy on the collegiate circuit with nine tournament appearances so far this year, the best being a third-place finish in the Camp Creek Seminole Invite, while Murphy is a scholarship student at the University of Louisville. Both are making their debuts in the match, and Kinsale Golf Club has marked the occasion by raising an official Walker Cup flag at the clubhouse to honour their man.

The hard luck story, though, must go to Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty - the best ranked Irish player in the world, at number 20 - who was overlooked by the selectors. Rafferty’s last competitive appearance was part of the winning International team in the Palmer Cup last December and his lack of tournament play, primarily caused by Covid travel restrictions, went against him.

A limited number of tickets - priced at $500 for the three days, one practice and two competition days - were sold out for this unique springtime Walker Cup match when Britain and Ireland, without a win since 2015, will be aiming for a 10th win in this 48th edition of the match.

Word of Mouth

“He’s a great player, he deserved to win . . . I think he’s going to win a lot more tournaments going forward. He’s a good dude” - former PGA champion Keegan Bradley, who finished runner-up in the Valspar Championship, tipping winner Sam Burns to continue his upward trending. Burns, 24, moved from 94th to 44th in the updated world rankings.

By the Numbers

13,743,938: It’s not all about winning, as American golfer Cameron Tringale knows only too well. But don’t feel too sorry for him. Tringale’s third place finish in the Valspar Championship - his 299th career appearance on the PGA Tour - netted him a $407,100 payday that moved him to a career total on the US circuit of $13,743,938 which is the largest amount won by any player without ever managing a tournament win.

In the Bag

Sam Burns, Valspar Championship winner

Driver - Callaway Mavrik (10.5 degrees)

3-wood -Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (17 degrees)

Hybrid - Callaway Apex (23 degrees)

Irons - Callaway Apex TCB (4-9)

Wedges - Callaway JAWS MD5 Raw (46, 50, 56 and 60 degrees)

Putter - Odyssey O-Works Black #7S

Ball - Callaway Chrome Soft X

On this day: May 4th 1997

Bernhard Langer provided a hint that old man time would never be a factor. In the Italian Open at Gardagolf in Brescia, the German - then 39-years old - produced a stunning course record 64 for a total of 273 to claim a one-stoke winning margin over fellow Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal with Darren Clarke back in third and Philip Walton in fourth.

Olazabal had carried a three shot lead into the final round only to be usurped by Langer’s brilliance, in what was his 36th career win on the European Tour. “I’m not disappointed because I didn’t give the tournament away . . . Bernhard’s 64 was a great round, an unbelievable round, a superb round and all credit to him,” said the Spaniard, in acknowledging Langer’s winning charge which featured nine birdies in his round, four of them in the last five holes.

Twitter Twaddle

“What an amazing day!! So please to get my 2nd win @EuropeanTour #TenerifeOpen @GolfCostaAdeje There’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes to get here, thanks for all the support from my family, my coaches and my whole team” - Dean Burmester showing he is more than a one man show after his win in Tenerife.

“I don’t feel old Just less needy and a little more grump it that’s at all possible” - Aussie golfer Scott Hend responding to a photo caption that highlighted he was - at 47 - the oldest player to make the cut at the Tenerife Open.

“Tough finish but super happy to see the hard work from my preseason show the last few weeks. Just gotta keep pushing. Thank you Singapore can’t wait to get back next year!” - Hannah Green on coming up one stroke shy of winner Hyo Joo Kim in the HSBC Women’s World Championship on the LPGA Tour.

Know the Rules

Q: On reaching a green with contours, Player A goes to his bag and takes out a half-filled bottle of water which he proceeds to place on the putting surface in an effort to gauge the severity of the slope. Is this permitted?

A: No. Rule 4.3a(1)/1 - Restrictions on using equipment to gauge slope - covers such a situation. Although a player may use his or her club as a plumb line to assist in judging or gauging slope and contours, there is other equipment that a player may not use: for example, a player is not allowed to gauge slope by, placing a bottle drink to act as a level; holding or placing a bubble level; using a weight suspended on a string as a plumb line.

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