Now he’s finally made the team, Shane Lowry wants to be the next great Irish influence on the Ryder Cup.
After walking the fairways of the K Club in support of Europe as a 19-year-old in 2006, Lowry dreamed of playing in the event. The Irish legacy in the event – not just that week in County Kildare – makes it all the more important to him.
‘The Ryder Cup and the Irish goes hand in hand’
“I feel there is something about The Ryder Cup and the Irish that goes hand in hand,” he said. “Going back to Christy (O’Connor) Jnr, Eamonn Darcy, Philip Walton, Paul McGinley, Paddy, Darren Clarke, and Rory now.
“He’s been part of the European team for 10 years and, hopefully, I can add to that this year and be one of those guys.
“A lot of Irish players have holed winning putts. I just hope I can deliver a few points and be myself and enjoy the whole experience while winning The Ryder Cup. That’s the main goal.”
He still remembers being there are Darren Clarke clinched the cup in 2006.
“I don’t even know how I got a ticket. I was 19 at the time and, obviously, hugely into my golf,” he said. “It was an incredible experience and if you had asked me walking into the course that day if I’d ever be competing in one, I’d have laughed.
“It’s incredible to think I’m part of it now. Will I think back to it on the first tee? God knows what I’ll be thinking walking onto the first tee! I’ll just think about making contact!
“I wonder if it could get much more difficult than the first tee at Portrush on the Sunday? I’d probably say no, but I might know more at the end of the week.”
‘I feel no matter who was captain, I’d have got a pick’
Lowry’s strong connection with the captain as friend and mentor Harrington made for a difficult process in qualifying. But he believes he would be in the team whoever was captain.
“I’ve knew all along he wanted me in the team, but he wanted to make the team,” he said. “It’s not that I gave them no choice, but I feel personally that, no matter who was captain, I would have got a pick.
“I’m not one that bigs myself up. But I felt I’d played good enough to make it whether it was Paddy or whoever was captain.
“Qualifying was the number one preference and I didn’t. I was probably as close as you can get without doing it, so that probably made up their minds.
“I’ve played solid over the summer. I’ve been there and done it in big events and I love the big stage.
“I feel I can go to Whistling Straits and deliver. That’s what they want and, hopefully, I can get points for Europe.”