Shane Lowry knows a hot putter could lead to US Open glory

World number 41 says he is happy with his current form ahead of Torrey Pines test

  Shane Lowry   plays his shot from the seventh tee during a practice round ahead of the start of the  US Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California. Photograph: Sean Haffey/Getty Images

Shane Lowry plays his shot from the seventh tee during a practice round ahead of the start of the US Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California. Photograph: Sean Haffey/Getty Images

 

Nobody needs to tell Shane Lowry what club needs to heat up. He knows himself. “Tournaments are won on the greens. Give me a really good putting week, and I’ll hopefully be there or thereabouts,” said the world number 41 ahead of attempting to conquer the South Course in this latest – the ninth of his career – appearance in the US Open.

The statistics back that up. Coming into the championship on the back of three top-10s in his last four outings, including a share of fourth at last month’s US PGA, Lowry is riding high on this season’s performance graphs: 21st in scrambling, 37th in all-rounds driving (distance and accuracy) and 41st in approach play.

His numbers for putting stand out like a sore thumb. He is 134th, the sort of position more akin to someone missing cuts rather than contending virtually week in and week out as Lowry has done in recent times. If the putter is hot, then Lowry is liable to catch fire.

Expectations

Lowry’s form has him poised. Since the Masters, his top-10s have come on tough courses – tied-9th at the Heritage at Harbor Town, tied-4th at Kiawah Island, tied-6th at Muirfield Village – and he remarked of his own expectations: “I have more expectation of myself than anyone else would have of me. I sometimes go into tournaments with a bit too much expectation of myself. There is something about this week that I feel like my form’s been good. I’m playing quite well. I’m happy with where my game’s at. [But I know] golf doesn’t owe you anything, it’ll give you nothing.

“You need to go out there and work for everything you get. I think I need to go out there and be myself and express myself and allow myself to play the best golf I can, and I hope that’s good enough come Sunday,” said Lowry, adding: “A US Open for me is like a true test of golf, [it tests] every part of your game; every part of your mentality will be required to do well. You obviously need to drive the ball in the fairway. I think the longer hitters have a bit of an advantage because there’s not much trouble, only rough, and the further you’re off in the rough the easier it is.”

Life skills

For this championship, Lowry – who recently became a partner of Offaly GAA, his Midas touch seemingly extending to the football and hurling teams’ performing well in the Allianz Leagues – has again shown support for good causes. In this case, the logo usually occupied by one of his sponsors, Immedis, has been replaced by one supporting the First Tee, an international youth development organisation that teaches life skills through golf.

“It’s a brilliant organisation that works to give kids and teens a taste of all that golf has to offer while also promoting values that are central to golf, like confidence, respect, honesty and integrity,” said Lowry.

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