Shane Lowry: Time to focus on US Open after Wentworth nightmare
I need to stay patient and that will be my mantra going to Oakmont for the Major
Shane Lowry waits on the 17th hole as he headed towards a missed cut in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images
My last action of the BMW PGA was to sign my card, one that featured a five-putt triple-bogey on it, and I must admit it was probably the lowest I have ever felt at a golf tournament.
I lost my head when it all happened on the 15th green, and then lost my way.
My head was scrambled for quite a while, and it took a long time for any calmness or clarity to return.
I’ve never ever taken five putts on a green before, not even when I was only starting to play the game, and I was actually embarrassed by what had happened.
I had such high expectations of myself and to do that!! . . . I just hope I’m not looking back at the end of the season still regretting how I finished that second round.
Now, as I look ahead to the US Open at Oakmont, I know I’ve got to learn from the experience.
And, no, I haven’t dumped the putter in a rubbish skip anywhere. In fact, I’ll be using it next week.
I sat down with my coach Neil Manchip for a good heart-to-heart the other day. It’s true what they say, it’s good to talk. And I realised that I’ve been messing about with putters too much this season and that I’ve been getting in my own way a little bit.
I’ve putted great in the past and there’s no reason why I can’t again. I’ve made a conscious decision to stick with the putter and, instead of blaming my tools, I am the one who has to work harder on my putting. It’s not something to take for granted.
The lesson I’ve learnt more than anything from what happened at Wentworth is the need to stay patient; and that will be my mantra going to Oakmont.
I don’t know the course but, by the sound of it, it is going to be extremely tough. I like tough golf courses and I’m actually looking forward to seeing how tough it is. It sounds like you need to drive the ball well, have a good wedge game and, of course, putt well.
I’m heading out on Sunday morning which means I’ll miss the Offaly-Westmeath football game in Mullingar. I’d actually toyed with the idea of delaying travelling until Monday but I need to get to Pittsburgh to prepare properly and to conserve my energy as much as I can. I’ll probably get 27 or 36 holes in between Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
This is the second Major of the season and I’m looking forward to what promises to be a really great stretch of tournaments. I might as well confirm now that I won’t be playing in the French Open and that I will be defending my WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
I’ve known for a while in my own mind that I wanted to defend in Akron and any players I’ve spoken to have said I’m right, even though it won’t count on the European Tour this season and doesn’t have any Ryder Cup points.
But first and foremost I need to get back and focused on my own game and forget about everything else that’s going on around me. So, I’ve mapped out a schedule that has the US Open and then a stretch that takes in the Bridgestone, Scottish Open and the British Open.
I’ve said for the last few months I feel like my game is good. But after every round I’m coming in off the course feeling I’ve shot two or three shots worse than I should have, which is hard to take. There are similarities with the frustration I felt last summer, around the time of the Open when things weren’t going my way, before I won the Bridgestone. I just need to be really patient and wait for things to happen.