Shane Lowry claims that he did not “have to prove a point” at the Irish Open that took place a week ago after being selected as a wildcard pick for Europe’s Ryder Cup team of 12 players.
Just one week after being picked as one of six picks, the Irishman finished in a tie for third place, marking his first top-10 result since February.
It had been pointed out that Poland’s Adrian Meronk had won three competitions before to his selection, one of which was the Italian Open in May, which was held at the same course as the Ryder Cup.
“I know I deserve to be there,” Lowry said in an interview with BBC Sport after winning the 2019 Open.
“The people who knew what they were talking about know that I deserve my place, so anyone else doesn’t really matter.”
Following his selection as a wildcard, Lowry made his first appearance in the biennial competition during the year 2021, when Canada was defeated by the United States by a score of 19-9 in Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
This time around, the 36-year-old athlete finished 11th on the European points list and eighth on the world points list. The top three competitors on each list qualified without having to do anything else.
The match against the United States will take place at the Marco Simone course in Rome from the 29th of September to the 1st of October. In addition to the automatic qualifiers Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Robert MacIntyre, the wildcard picks Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Justin Rose, Nicolai Hojgaard, and Ludvig Aberg will also participate.
An “important” team bonding session was held earlier this week on the Ryder Cup course, and all 12 players and their caddies attended. Lowry referred to the event as “crucial.”
Lowry, who participated in the round alongside Scottish golfer MacIntyre, Austrian golfer Straka, and English golfer Rose, described it as “outstanding.”
“The party was a lot of fun. Even if I don’t really know Ludvig, Nicolai, or Sepp, I do know them to say hello to, so even just hanging out with them for half an hour can make a big difference since the week of the Ryder Cup is a bit frantic.”
In addition, this was Lowry’s first time playing on the course that plays host to the Italian Open, and his first opinion of the course was that it was “hilly” and had “rough that is brutally thick.”
In advance of the Ryder Cup, he will compete as the defending champion in this week’s BMW PGA Championship. He is also in the midst of what he describes as “one of the most exciting months” of his professional career.
In 2017, he prevailed over McIlroy and Rahm to take the title of winner of the premier event on the DP World Tour.
“It’s an amazing month of golf, and I’m trying to take it all in and enjoy it as much as I can,” he continued. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
“Last week’s performance in front of thousands of people in Ireland’s heat of 25 degrees Celsius was a wonderful experience. I’m trying to take it all in, from the fact that the weather forecast for this week at Wentworth seems promising to the fact that the crowds are always incredible here to the build-up for the Ryder Cup that will come after it.
“When you’re playing tournaments like this one, I always tell people that if you can finish ahead of those two fellas (McIlroy and Rahm), you’ll do alright for yourself. This coming weekend, I’m going to try to do the same thing.
The twelve golfers who will represent Europe in the Ryder Cup have been placed in the same foursome for the first two rounds of the tournament, which will begin on Thursday at Wentworth.
While McIlroy is out with the recently crowned FedEx Cup champion Hovland and rising youngster Aberg, Lowry will play alongside Straka and Fleetwood in this round.
MacIntyre will tee off with Englishmen Rose and Fitzpatrick, while Hatton will play alongside Rahm and Hojgaard. Hatton is the defending champion of this tournament, which he won in 2020.