Shane Lowry focused on famed Augusta National challenge
With his old putter and a new driver in the bag, Offaly man ready to begin Masters bid
Shane Lowry plays a shot on the 11th hole during a practice round prior to the start of the US Masters tournament at Augusta. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
What’s this they say? Something old, something new, something borrowed and something . . . if not blue, how about green?
Shane Lowry – the master planner – can take note.
He has put an old Odyssey 2-Ball putter back into his bag for this week’s Masters and will also showcase a new Srixon driver; and, if he has yet to borrow anything, there’s no questioning his desire to gain acquisition of the green jacket that will be slipped on to the shoulders of the champion at the conclusion of this 80th edition of the tournament.
As the ultimate status symbol, that green jacket – last year claimed by Jordan Spieth – is what it is all about. And, if the season to date has proven frustrating for Lowry, he is aiming to flick the switch. Where better than here?
“No, it’s not going great to be honest,” said Lowry of his season to date, adding: “It’s about patience. I still have to be patient and to keep going. Last year was a bit slow and it ended up being a great year.
“There’s a long way to go yet,” said the Offalyman, who turned 29 last Saturday.
“When I got here on Saturday morning, it was soft, I was spinning 7-irons back, and then Saturday afternoon on the 18th green you could feel it firming up a bit. And then (on Sunday) it was totally different. It was fast, it was firm. It was amazing the change in 24 hours but it gives me that little bit of extra preparation that I might need by the end of the week.”
So, what’s with the switch – and timing – in changing putter and with the driver?
One of the reasons for change, as it turns out, is by necessity; the old TaylorMade driver which had been part and parcel of his armoury since the 2010 season recently broke beyond repair and, as it would happen, the R&D team at Srixon were developing a driver for Lowry which has now come into play. It first saw tournament action in Houston last week, and will now be pivotal to the player’s bid to contend at Augusta National.
As for the putter, it is an old friend. It was the one Lowry used to great effect when he won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron last August. He first acquired the putter back in Abu Dhabi at the start of the 2010 season and it has been in and out of his bag ever since, always on standby. “Your imagination comes into play a lot here, which is me, a bit of feel. I went back to my old putter because it is a smaller grip, a skinny grip,” he explained.
The driver, though, will also hopefully be a useful weapon. Although he said his rhythm was off-kilter with the driver last week, having spent three days on the range familiarising himself with the new acquisition, Lowry has quickly grown fond of it. “It’s worked really well in practice, I can hit it long and straight and I can turn it over when I want. It’s pretty good . . . I really feel like I can stand up and go after one as well.”
Who knows, perhaps missing the cut in Houston will work out in his favour. More time to get to know Augusta, at his own pace. He played 18 holes on Saturday, nine on Sunday and another nine yesterday. The plan is to play nine again today and on Wednesday.
“My iron play could get a little bit better but my chipping is good, driving the ball good. Chip and drive and putt well you’ll do all right . . . I need to just get out and play my own game.”