Shane Lowry to relocate to a Florida base next year
Offalyman to concentrate full-time on the PGA Tour from next January
Shane Lowry plays from a bunker during a practice round for the 99th PGA Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA
The ultimate home bird is set to take flight. After a disappointing season spent criss-crossing the Atlantic, numerous trips which have taken a toll on body and mind, Shane Lowry is set to relocate to Florida – avec la famille – for the first six months of next year in a bid to re-energise his career on the PGA Tour.
Lowry hasn’t managed a top-10 finish on the US Tour this season, one in which he has fallen from 43rd in the world rankings at the start of the year to a current position of 83rd.
And, as things stand, he won’t make the FedEx Cup playoffs unless he performs a salvage operation at this week’s US PGA Championship or next week’s Wyndham Championship, the last tournament of the US Tour’s regulation schedule.
Something had to give in Lowry’s mind, and so he and wife Wendy with daughter Iris are set to make the move, most likely to the area around Palm Beach Gardens in Florida for the period from January to June, in order to provide a fresh impetus to his scheduling and reduce the strain of continuous cross-Atlantic travel as he juggles keeping cards on both the PGA and European Tours.
“It is hard and it has been very hard on me these last few years and I feel like that has been my downfall, to be honest. It has been too hard for me. It has been too hard to keep my world ranking and you end up not being in all the big tournaments.
“Like, not playing in Akron last week was tough, especially after winning the event so soon ago [in2015]. But I have plans to move to America for a few months next year. So, I am going to concentrate full-time on the PGA Tour next year and see what happens after that.
“I have been travelling too much and I have not seen enough of the girls and to have them with me most of the time will be nice. We are very lucky we have the chance to live in a nice place with nice weather and some good golf, and I won’t have to deal with jet lag as much, so that it is the plan,” said Lowry.
With missed cuts in his last two outings, the British Open and the Canadian Open, Lowry – currently 146th in the FedEx Cup table, of which the top-125 after the Wyndham qualify for the playoffs – was so low in confidence last week that he struggled to find the motivation to practice.
“I just had to take stock and realise how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing. How my game isn’t actually that bad . . . . I am going to give it my best this week and see what happens.”
Prior to flying back stateside for the US PGA here at Quail Hollow – his eighth westbound flight of the year across the Atlantic – Lowry met with sports psychologist Gerry Hussey for a day-long session which he believes will help him not only this week but for the rest of the season as he bids to regain a place in the world’s top-50, his stated goal.
And for those who might think Lowry is too hard on himself, here’s news for you. He doesn’t think he’s hard enough.
As he put it, “if anything, I think I have not been hard enough on myself. I can be too hard on myself at times and I do need to get that fire back in my belly, and get that bit of anger out every now and then. There is no harm in that and that is the kind of person I am. I am not saying that I am going to be going mad each week but there is no harm showing that I care and that I really want to do well.”
As for this week, Lowry is looking for a spark, anything to turn the corner; and the pessimism that filled his body on the trip home from the Canadian Open has been replaced by a renewed optimism for the road ahead.
“It is hard to tell what golfers are going to do. Obviously you have guys who are in form, you have Hideki [Matsuyama] and these guys who are in form most of the time, but for golfers it is such a funny game you don’t know what is around the corner. You are only ever a couple of swings or a couple of putts away and your whole week or your whole year turns around.”
The glass is half-full, again.