Shane Lowry admitted he “messed up” his big chance to play in the Ryder Cup in 2016, an experience he does not want to go through again as he sets his sights on a debut at Whistling Straits.
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 19/01/21 11:59pm
Shane Lowry is determined to avoid a repeat of 2016, when he admits he “messed up” his best chance to play in the Ryder Cup for Europe.
As he prepares to return to action at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Lowry set out his clear goals for 2021 which included at least one win, and a long-awaited Ryder Cup debut when Europe defend the trophy in Wisconsin.
Lowry was looking good for a place in Darren Clarke’s team for Hazeltine in 2016, which he would have cemented had he held onto a four-shot lead heading into the final round of the US Open, but an error-strewn 76 left him three adrift of Dustin Johnson at Oakmont.
The disappointment took a toll as he missed the cut in his next four starts, including The Open and the PGA Championship, and Lowry was overlooked for a wildcard pick as Clarke went for Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters.
The Irishman is currently on the outside looking in ahead of this year’s rescheduled Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, but the qualifying points restart this week in Abu Dhabi, an event he won in 2019 before going on to be crowned Open champion at Royal Portrush.
“I’ve probably let it get in the way in previous years,” said Lowry when asked about his hopes of forcing his way into Padraig Harrington’s team. “I’ve only really had one good chance of making The Ryder Cup team and I messed that up myself, let’s be honest. That was in 2016 for Darren’s team.
“The way I am now and the way my career path has gone, I’m more mature and ready to go and take that next step and make the team. It’s just up to me to get there my own way, let myself play golf.
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“I know how good I can play, I just need to try and let that happen, keep working hard and hopefully I’m on that plane, not only going there but winning the trophy as well.
“What they’ve done with the points is great for the likes of me who is outside the team at the minute. I get the chance to make up points over the next eight months. I’m happy with that and hopefully I can make as many as is enough to get in the team.
“Hopefully I make more than enough and have the best season of my life. I know if I can play as good as I know I can, there’s no doubt I can make that team.”
Lowry also insisted he did not want to have to rely on a pick from good friend Harrington, something they have not discussed, as he outlined his desire to qualify for the European team on merit.
“It’s funny, we never talk about it,” he added. “I don’t want to leave it to him to have to pick me, because I know how hard a decision that would be. If I’m playing great golf and deserve a pick, I deserve one, end of story. But I don’t want to have to depend on one.
“I want to make the team and he knows that more than anything. I’m going to be doing my best. Golf’s a funny game. We don’t know what’s ahead of us. I go out and give my best every day and see where it leaves me.
“If for some reason I don’t make the team and I’m playing good enough golf, I might deserve a pick. We genuinely don’t talk about it. It never really comes up in conversation.”