Although victories are the currency of choice for professional golfers, good finishes can be considered victories in their own right.
Both Charley Hull and Shane Lowry had very successful weekends, and although they would have wanted to spend Monday morning making room for new trophies, they can now reflect on their accomplishments from the previous two days.
In her final competition before competing in this month’s Solheim Cup, Hull finished in second place at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati, and Lowry had his best result of the year by coming in third place at the Horizon Irish Open. Both of these results came in their respective last outings before the Solheim Cup.
“The juices were flowing,” Lowry remarked as he waved his cap to both sides of the 18th green at the K Club. “The juices were flowing,” Lowry said. He finished in second place, two strokes behind winner Vincent Norrman, with a score of 12 under par on what turned out to be a challenging course.
The timing of Lowry’s return to form couldn’t have worked out any better if it had been planned any differently. The 36-year-old delivered under the pressure of a home tournament in the aftermath of his Ryder Cup wildcard selection being called into question due to his relatively lackluster performance in 2023.
Now that he has gained this momentum, he will be able to defend his title at the BMW PGA Championship, which will be held at Wentworth this week. After that, he will be one of Europe’s dozen golfers who compete against the United States in Rome at the end of the month.
“I started the week getting in the Ryder Cup team, and I come here and play some of the best golf I’ve played all year,” said Lowry. “I’ve been playing some of the best golf I’ve played all year.” “I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out.
“One thing that I’m extremely pleased with is my iron play, which has been inconsistent over the past month and a half. It was the component of my game that I thought stood out to me the most this week.
“I have a nice few weeks ahead of me, and I’m pretty happy with everything that’s going on right now.”
When Europe’s team convened late on Sunday night in the Italian capital, preparatory to spending Monday scouting the Marco Simone course that will host the Ryder Cup, Europe’s captain Luke Donald is likely to have congratulated Shane Lowry on his performance and given him a pat on the back.
Lowry is experiencing the venue for the very first time during this visit, which also includes the European team’s captain and vice-captains. Before the continent’s Italian task from September 29th to October 1st, this exercise will serve as both a reconnaissance mission and a time for team building.
Even though Lowry had only one finish in the top 10 all year, he was selected as the Open champion based more on his reputation than his performance.
“Irish Opens are tournaments that were typically difficult to play in the past,” he conceded. “Irish Opens are held annually.”
“I had the impression that I was doing really well out there all throughout this week. It’s certainly one of the greatest tournaments I’ve played in so far this year, which is a wonderful thing to say considering how early in the year it is.
“I have a few exciting weeks of golf ahead of me now, and this is a great way to start, and hopefully I can build on it from here,” said the golfer. “This is a great way to start, and I hope that I can build on it from here.”
One week after the European women’s team defends the Solheim Cup against the United States at Finca Cortesin in Spain from September 22-24, the European men’s team will attempt to win back the Ryder Cup.
Hull, in contrast to Lowry, has been having one of the most successful seasons of her professional career. After finishing in second place in a number of tournaments, including the US Open and the AIG Women’s Open, the only thing that has been lacking is a victory.
The 27-year-old golfer from Kettering, Ohio, came agonizingly close to winning the Ohio tournament on the previous Sunday. She battled back from five strokes down with eight holes left to play in order to force a play-off with Minjee Lee of Australia.
When Hull’s gutsy putt from off the back of the green on the first extra hole stopped rolling just one revolution short of vanishing underground, she was millimeters away from achieving her goal of winning the tournament.
Lee, who had previously won the US Open in 2022, capitalized on the opportunity at the following hole by taking a remarkably well judged approach to the tap-in range. As a result, Hull was able to cash her sixth runner-up check in the past ten months.
It would be a much more disheartening loss for her to finish second in her next competition, which would take place while Europe attempts to win a record third game in a row.
Hull added, “I’m looking forward to Solheim,” and he meant it.
I can’t wait until the next week, when I’ll be able to put in some work with my coach, get back into the swing of things, and finish the season strong.
The possibility of Hull’s captain, Suzann Pettersen, playing on the Costa del Sol excites the team’s excitement level to a very high level.
Hull remarked that Suzann would make an excellent captain in the future. It’s pretty fantastic that she was chosen because she’s one of my favorite players in the history of the game. I wish she was on the team.”
More importantly, Pettersen must be overjoyed to learn that Hull, who is now performing at such a high level, will play such a big role in her line-up.