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August 9, 2015

Shane Lowry


STEVE TODD: Shane, you're finally flying the flag there. Many congratulations on a fantastic victory, an incredible day. Just try to sum up your emotions, if you can, at winning your first WGC title.

SHANE LOWRY: I mean, like, you know, it's -- it's fairly special to go out and do that and such a good feel to shoot a bogey-free 66 on the golf course like that. I know it will stay with me now for the rest of my career, and hopefully I've got a long career ahead of me. I've got a good exemption there in Europe, a good exemption there on the PGA Tour as well. So the future looks okay as of now. So, yeah, I mean, I done everything I needed to do to win today. I let myself get ahead of myself and think of myself standing on the 18th green with that trophy. Then I got back to business and hit some good shots and played nicely. Managed to hole a few putts as well, which is good.

STEVE TODD: It was an incredible day out there, almost too many highlights to talk through here. 14 and 18 in particular were obviously key moments.

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I think 14 was massive. I knew I was -- I think I was two ahead at the time. I was watching the leaderboard all day. When you see Bubba and Jim Furyk and Justin Rose chasing you down, you know it's going to be tough. Yeah, I just hit a bad tee shot on 14 and just got it back in play. Didn't go at the flag with the chip shot because it would have taken a great shot to hole the green where the flag was. So I had to chip it in right of the hole and try and hole it. I think that's probably the putt that won me the tournament in the end.

Q. When you started talking about your visions of accepting the prize on the 18th green, at what point did that start? And at what point -- or was there any point that you thought that it might not happen?
SHANE LOWRY: All morning, like it's a long day before a 2:00 tee time. All morning, you kind of -- like I drove to Starbucks for a coffee, you kind of let yourself go off into the -- you know, and just think about lifting that trophy on the 18th green. Then when I'm in a good frame of mind, I let myself do it, and I give myself a little slap in the face and say, right, you need to get back to work, back to doing what you do best. Yeah, I mean, I don't think there was any point out there that I thought I couldn't win. I thought I was right in the driving seat most of the day. I played the golf course quite well. Made a great up-and-down on 9. I think that was massive as well. And obviously what happened on 10. I got a couple of breaks today that you always need to get to win an event. I'm just thankful that that happened.

Q. How exactly did you play that shot on 10? What was the trouble? What did you have? How did you get past it?
SHANE LOWRY: The tree, it was quite a tall tree in front of me. I was quite lucky because I got a drop, and the drop actually took me back onto a little bit of an upslope, which meant I could get the ball in the air quicker, and I could end up clearing the tree pretty comfortable. I was just trying to get up around the green and make a 4. I got a great bounce and kicked onto the green, which is nice. It was nice to go up there and see it was basically a tap-in, you know.

Q. What was the drop for?
SHANE LOWRY: The tee box was in my way, the 11th tee.

Q. A big miss?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it was a big miss. Yeah, that's okay.

Q. Can you talk about 18, just the whole tree thing.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, 18 -- I made a great par on 17. And like I'm not going to lie, I was pretty nervous standing on the 18th tee. But I said to myself, I've watched this tournament a lot in the past, and you stand on that 18th tee, and it's very familiar. You stand there and think, right, this is what I'm here for. This is why I came this week. I hit a poor enough tee shot, to be honest. It was quite a long way left. Probably one of the worst tee shots I've hit all week. But I was just going in there praying that I could get it down there on the green. It got down, and it actually had a pretty horrific lie. It was sitting down in a hole. It was almost like someone had stood on it, but it was where the crowd was walking. And I just said to Dermot, I'll try and hit sand wedge and just get it down to the front of the green. I pulled it a bit too low and went into the tree. The rest is history.

Q. Shane, how did the emotions of this win stack up to the emotions from winning the Irish Open?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I mean, I think obviously the Irish Open got my career kick started. It was great for me. But I think this is getting the next stage of my career kick started now hopefully. I feel like I've been playing good golf for the last couple of years. I've been in and around top 50 in the world and trying to get into events and trying to compete in events and missed a couple of big cuts by a shot or two this year, which is a bit disappointing. I was never too far away. So, yeah, I think this is going to give me the confidence hopefully to drive on now and win more events and hopefully the flood gates will open.

Q. Back to 10. How close was the tree, and were you concerned about the bunkers? The rough? What were you just trying to get it up there and have something playable?
SHANE LOWRY: I just wanted to make sure I got it over the tree.

Q. How close was it?
SHANE LOWRY: It was probably 40 yards ahead of me. So it was quite a tall tree. I don't know how tall it was. So I was just -- I knew I could get it up over. I just opened up my pitching wedge and hit it up over it. It wasn't -- it was just trying to get it the distance was the problem. So I managed to do that. It was good.

Q. Educated bounce too? A lucky bounce?
SHANE LOWRY: A lucky bounce, yeah. You need those.

Q. Even if you hadn't won, I believe you were going to get close enough to earn your PGA Tour status. What were your feelings on that going in? And now that you've got it, do you see yourself playing both Tours, and was that a goal?
SHANE LOWRY: I think that pretty much I was -- I thought, as long as I done something half decent this week, I'd have enough for my card. That's what I was aware of anyway. So I wasn't really thinking of my PGA Tour card at all. Yeah, I mean, I don't know where I'm going to be in the World Rankings. I'm going to be in a good position. I'm definitely going to try and play both Tours. I definitely want to play over here more, and I've said that over the last year. That was my goal, coming over here and playing a few invites this year. I was very thankful to all those people that gave me those invites at the start of the year. Yeah, I mean, I've achieved a lot of goals so far this year. PGA Tour card, another win, well inside the top 50 in the world. So, yeah, I'm just looking forward to the next few months.

Q. Just curious, getting into this field, were you always pretty well set? Was it touch and go? Or were you like sliding toward 50?
SHANE LOWRY: I think I was 48 the week of Canada and Switzerland, which the cutoff was the following Monday. I think there was three players -- it was G Mac, Tommy Fleetwood, and Luke Donald were three players that could have knocked me out if they had decent weeks. I stayed at 48. They didn't -- I think G Mac and Tommy missed the cut, so I was safe after Friday there. Yeah, I mean, it was touch and go. I never thought about going and playing in Switzerland, trying to make my place in there. I just said, if I'm in, I'm in. If I'm not, I've got the PGA the following week. Thankfully, I'm in.

Q. Winning is winning, but I guess what level of specialness does it add when you do what you've done, what you mentioned, a golf course like this, a 66 with no bogeys and three major champions trying to catch you?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it doesn't get any better than that, does it? To be honest, it hasn't sunk in yet. I'm sure, if I talk to you next week on Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll be able to answer those questions a little bit better. Yeah, I mean, to beat those guys down the stretch on a golf course like this, this is probably one of the toughest golf courses, especially in this condition, how firm it was this week, that he play all year. To shoot 11 under par -- I said at the start of the week, I'd take 8 under par, and I thought that might win. So to shoot 11 under par on this golf course is -- it just shows a lot about my game, that it's good enough to compete at any level.

Q. The shots on 10 and 18, did you have a clear way to punch out? You had the lead. That might have been safer. Is it your nature just to take risks like that?
SHANE LOWRY: No. To be honest, I couldn't -- like on 10, I had nowhere really to chip out. Like it was almost as tough a chip out onto the fairway as it was to try to get it up around the green. I'm generally -- my method of play is to get the ball as close to the green as I can and try to get it up and down from there. My chipping is half decent. So, yeah, I mean, on 18, I walked down and seen the gap was there, it was perfect to get it over those trees and down by the green. If I had rattled around in that tree and came up short, I probably still could have given myself a putt to win it or a putt to finish 10-under, which would have won in the end. My goal was to get it up around the green and get it up and down. I'm fairly confident in my chipping, and I think that's probably one of the strongest parts of my game. I knew if it I left myself an easy enough chip, I would have got up and down.

Q. The party for your brother that's going on at home, do you think they'll go to bed?
SHANE LOWRY: I don't think so. I think they'll be up for a while. So yeah.

Q. How old is he?

Q. And was this a particularly big --
SHANE LOWRY: It's one of the big events back home. We've all won it -- myself, Padraig, Rory, McGinley --

Q. As an amateur?
SHANE LOWRY: It's an amateur event, yes. It's like one of the big amateur events back home everyone plays in. He won that last Monday when I was flying over here. So, yeah, it was a good week for us.

Q. What's it called?
SHANE LOWRY: It's called the Mullingar Scratch Cup. Mullingar, M-u-l-l-i-n-g-a-r. Need a translator, do we? (Laughter).

Q. I also wanted to ask you about you're getting married next year. I figure this will make for a better wedding reception maybe.
SHANE LOWRY: I'm sure Wendy probably thinks that right now (laughter). Yeah, we're getting married at the end of next year. So, yeah, I mean, it's going to be, I think, we're not planning on doing anything extravagant. We're just having a nice wedding back home with family and friends.

Q. Could you explain your relationship with Rory, how far you guys go back. Were you rivals or just friendly in amateur golf? Can you just explain how that all came about.
SHANE LOWRY: Like, Rory was -- is he 26? He's two years younger than me, but like he was a lot like -- he played men's golf when he was 14, 15, and I was still like -- like I was playing boys golf then and under 18s. He developed a lot quicker than I did. We were kind of around the same scene for maybe two years. We played on a couple of teams together, and we won a couple of tournaments on teams. Then when I turned pro, obviously, Rory was there when I won the Irish Open, and I turned pro. Yeah, I've knocked around with him for the last few years. To see what he does in the game and how he plays the game is -- when you're hanging around with people like that, like I hang around with Padraig, Rory, G Mac, guys who have done well in the game and who have won majors. When you knock around with people like that, it definitely helps you. Yeah, you surround yourself with the right people.

Q. Have you played soccer with him (laughter)?
SHANE LOWRY: He's here all week (laughter).

Q. Shane, more on the Rory line, he obviously won last year. How sweet is it for you to follow up as the winner here, and have you heard from him?
SHANE LOWRY: I haven't seen my phone yet. So when I heard about Rory's injury, I just sent him a text that said, heard about the injury, hope to see you back as soon as you can or whatever. I'm sure I'll hear from him. I'm sure I'll talk to him this week. It's great to see him back so quick, so yeah.

Q. How sweet to follow him as a winner?
SHANE LOWRY: Oh, it's -- I mean, I don't care really who won it last year (laughter). I won it this year, and that's all that matters to me right now.

Q. How big was that when you beat him at the match play that year a couple years ago? Was that a big deal in your career at the time?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it was. Like he was No. 1 in the world, was he? No, No. 2 at the time. I knew it was going to be a tough match going in. To be honest, the match was -- the standard wasn't very good, and I managed to sneak in on 18. So to beat him -- was definitely 1-up on him. He beat me at Wentworth last year down the stretch, which was 1 back for him. I'd love to just -- I'd love to go down the stretch again someday. You want to test yourself against the best players in the world. So if I find myself with nine holes to play in a battle with Rory next week, I'll be very, very happy.

Q. Yesterday, Jim was asked about your game, and he said he had heard a couple of years ago -- I think it was the first time you guys played together yesterday. He said he heard a couple of years ago that you had a good short game, kind of a scrappy player, but he didn't think it did it justice. He thought you were a great ball striker. Do you think Jim's assessment there does it justice or how would you describe yourself?
SHANE LOWRY: My game has definitely improved a lot over the last couple of years. I played here two years ago, and definitely a much better player than I was back then. I'm probably 20 yards longer than I was. My irons are so much more consistent. My wedge play is better. All around, I'm probably a better player and more mature as a player as well, which is a big thing. So, yeah, I think the big thing is, like I hit my driver -- I can probably carry it 20 yards longer than I did a couple of years ago. So it's a big thing around here when you've got the likes of the tee shot on 9, if you carry it over that hill; the tee shot on 8, if you can get the ball where you're hitting wedges into these greens, it's always a help. When I came here first in '09, I was going into that 9th green with a 3-iron and 4-iron and 5-iron every day, and it always makes it a little bit tougher.

Q. How much are the Olympics on your mind? This should move you up, I guess, to around 20 or so, which is a pretty good place going forward.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I want to play in the Olympics. I'm very patriotic, so I want to play for my country. So, yeah, this obviously puts me right in a good position to be in the Olympics next year. I think the Olympics and the Ryder Cup is two big things on my list next year. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

STEVE TODD: Shane, thanks for joining us and congratulations again.

SHANE LOWRY: Thank you.
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