New clubs in the bag as Shane Lowry starts PGA Tour season
British Open champion will play the Safeway this week ahead of next week’s US Open
Shane Lowry starts the new PGA Tour season at the Safeway Open. Photo: Chris Keane/Getty Images
British Open champion Shane Lowry will have new clubs in the bag for the new PGA Tour season as he looks to make up for a disappointing end to the previous campaign.
Lowry scraped into the FedEx Cup play-offs after finishing 123rd on the regular season money list, with only the top 125 qualifying for the Northern Trust.
A missed cut at TPC Boston ended Lowry’s season but he has opted to contest the first event of the 2020/21 schedule, the Safeway Open in California, ahead of next week’s US Open at Winged Foot.
“Obviously I wouldn’t be overly pleased with how I did last season, but it was a strange one,” Lowry told a pre-tournament press conference.
“I felt like I played okay in part and I felt like I had it going before lockdown and I struggled when we came back out. I rallied a little bit to make it to the playoffs (and) it was disappointing to play the way I did in Boston, but that’s just the way it is.
“I’ve had a couple of weeks off and the reason I’m here this week is I don’t really want three weeks off going into the US Open. I’m close, I’m in America. My family are in Ireland, so I couldn’t go back to Ireland because of the quarantine, there was no point.
“This is a big event in its own right, so I want to come here and play well. Obviously I’m thinking about trying to get a bit of form going into Winged Foot next week, but at the end of the day I’m a proud golfer and I want to play well this week.”
Lowry will head straight from the US Open to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, which was scheduled for Mount Juliet in May but has been switched to Galgorm Castle in Northern Ireland due to the coronavirus pandemic and will be played behind closed doors.
The 33-year-old will then take a few weeks off, even though it means missing the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
“Obviously I was really looking forward to playing in front of our home fans as the Open champion this year, which would have been really special, but sadly it’s not to be,” Lowry added.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to win the Irish Open already (as an amateur in 2009) and I would dearly love to win it again.”
As for his new clubs, Lowry explained: “Srixon came out with a new set of irons. They look a little bit different to what I’ve been using, but they perform pretty much the same and I find the irons easy to change.
“And my driver, to be honest, I drove the ball pretty poorly over the last while and I do feel like there might be something wrong with the old driver. I used it for a couple of years, maybe it’s gone a little bit.
“I was getting some weird numbers on TrackMan and stuff, so decided to put a new driver in the bag. I used it the last couple of days and I’ve hit it pretty well, so I’m excited to see what they’re like.”