Shane Lowry finds the upside to no fans being present for Irish Open

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Shane Lowry admits he may have a better chance of winning this week's Irish Open without any “mayhem” from partisan home fans.

The 2019 Open champion and world No.30 is the best ranked player in the field at Galgorm Castle in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

The venue is making its European Tour debut after the tournament was originally scheduled for the Mount Juliet Estate in County Kilkenny in May before the pandemic.

It is the first of four successive events in the UK with no fans including the BMW PGA Championship.

Irish ace Lowry,33, who lifted the Claret Jug at nearby Royal Portrush, said: “I was extremely excited to go to Mount Juliet in front of my home fans as a major champion.

Lowry feels the lack of a crowd could hand him an advantage in the Irish Open
(Image: Getty Images)

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“That obviously didn't happen with everything that went on.

“When this venue and this date came up I felt I wanted to come play.

“I feel like I owe it to the Irish Open and the tour to support the event to come here to give it my best bet to try and win it again.

“Portrush is only half an hour from here and it is a part of the world I like.

“I have had some good success here.

“I am here to play the best golf I can and hopefully that is up at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the week.

“I wish there were crowds here.

The world no.30 goes into the Open as the best ranked player
(Image: Getty Images)

“It is weird without them – normally the Irish Open is a bit of mayhem.

“But if anything it might help me perform better and play well.

“I probably try a bit too hard in front of home fans and it does me in.

“I always put a bit pressure on myself to play well but this might keep a bit of the pressure off me and let me be myself.”

Lowry won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009 and arrives on the back of a 43rd place finish at the US Open at Winged Foot.

Lowry plays a practice round at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort
(Image: Getty Images)

He is favourite as Jon Rahm, winner in two of the last three years, is not in the field.

Northern Ireland's major champions Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke are also absent.

Lowry went out to practise on Wednesday to get a first look at the course after returning from Winged Foot.

“It was probably the toughest course I have ever played,” admitted Lowry, who finished fifteen over.

“It was mentally and physically draining over the week.

Who do you think will win the Irish Open? Have your say below.

He won the Open back in 2009 and is favourite for this year's competition
(Image: Getty Images)

“I am probably a little bit drained still.

“But when I get out there a bit of adrenaline will keep me going and I will be OK.”

After this week, Lowry has five weeks off to catch up with his wife Wendy and daughter Iris after over two months apart while he was playing in USA.

He admitted: “Nine weeks away from them probably affected me towards the end.

“It was too difficult because when you play badly you wonder why are you bothering doing this.

“It tough and it was a learning curve but we are in weird times.”

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Veröffentlicht am Kategorien Sport