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May 17, 2016

Shane Lowry

Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland

PAUL SYMES: Thanks for joining us, Shane. Seven years ago today, I believe, was the day you won The Irish Open. Obviously a lot has changed since then, but whatever you go on to achieve in the game, it's going to be a highlight of your career, I would imagine.

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, obviously it was probably the biggest highlight of my career, I would say. To win your home tournament as an amateur, I don't think many people will do that in the game.

So it's nice, seven years ago today, it feels like -- well, it is a long time ago, but I don't know where those seven years have gone. I feel like I've come a long way as a player and as a person.

Yeah, I'd just love some day to win it as a pro, as well.

PAUL SYMES: You come here on the back of at least three good rounds at THE PLAYERS last week, struggled on Saturday, but overall, must be very pleased with your form coming into the week.

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, yeah, if you look at it, I probably played 68 holes really good and just the first four holes on Saturday, kind of being with the world No. 1, trying to chase him down and then getting off to a surly start is not easy. Just the greens, the TOUR, the course got away from them. They apologised to all the players afterwards that evening. You know, that's the way it is.

I'm not making any excuses for me. Like you know, if we had of known that the greens were going to be like that going out, I think it would have been a little bit different and people wouldn't have been as surprised or the scores mightn't have been as bad, but the putting green was maybe three or four feet slower than the greens on the course, so it was a little bit difficult.

Yeah, it was just, you know, but still a good week. Very disappointed to 3-putt the last. I hit two great shots in there and just a bit of a brain fart to be honest. That's the way it is. But like I said, a good finish, you know, felt like I played really well.

If I can putt as nice on Thursday, Friday and then Saturday got me a bit tentative for the rest of the weekend. I imagine the greens will be a little bit slower here and hopefully go out this week and putt a little bit better.

Q. Looking back at the weekend, how much do you think you got out of the experience of playing with Jason Day?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I always say, when you're in those situations, you can't really come off the round, sit down and write down on a notepad what you've learned. Obviously the next time I'm out with Jason Day on a Saturday or the world No. 1, whoever it is, things will probably be a little bit different.

I'm not saying I let the nerves get to me or let it get the better of me. I just got off to a bad start. I played great after that. You know, missed a couple of short putts coming in. Other than that, it would have been a really good bounce-back and I still would have been in the tournament come the weekend.

Yeah, I'm sure I learned a lot and something that I will take with me the next time I have it but I can't really put my finger on what it was.

Q. I'm sure Rory will beg to disagree, but with the consistency that he's showing, is it fair to say that he's maybe a step or two ahead of everybody else at the moment?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, obviously like I played with him last Saturday, no doubt, he's a great player. Definitely one of the best players I've ever played with. He's obviously in the form of his life at the minute. When Rory was in the form of his life three years ago or whenever it was, he was unbeatable. When Jordan Spieth was in the form of his life last year, he was unbeatable.

So when top golfers in the world are in the form of their life, they are basically unbeatable, and probably the way he is at the minute. How long it will last, I don't know. Any golfer will tell you, when they are confident and playing really well, they feel like they are not going to play badly or they are going to win tournaments.

Yeah, kind of that's the way I always look at it.

Q. How much have you played over this course? Obviously first time there's been a tournament on this course since The Ryder Cup.
SHANE LOWRY: Played a little bit. Not overly, not loads like, but I played twice the week before Quail Hollow, played there twice. Obviously played a few times over the years and I know the course quite well.

It's a good course, good driver's course, and you need to hit the ball on the fairway. I believe the rough is up more than it was a couple weeks ago when I played. Be interesting to see what the scoring is like. Normally Irish Open scoring depends on the weather, so just have to see what that brings.

Q. Last week was a bad example with what happened Saturday but with regards to what happened with the R&A today, releasing the manual on pace of play --
SHANE LOWRY: I just got an e-mail in saying I've been fined five times this year on the US Tour. I don't think that's a reflection of me. I think it's a reflection of the players I was playing with. Yeah, it took us nearly six hours to play our round on Saturday last week, and then it took us four hours to play on Sunday. So there's nearly two hours of difference. It feels like you're running around when you're in a two-ball.

But yeah, the pace of play of golf is always too slow. I'm actually a slower player now than when I come out on Tour, but I've had to tone it back myself because when you play too quick, when you get on the clock, then you end up playing quicker and it ends up hurting you.

I think if you look at the slow players are good at playing quickly when they are on the clock, and then going back to what they do normally when the referee goes away. I mean, I think they only thing they can start doing is penalising shots. Players don't care about fines.

Q. Can you envisage that happening this season in a major or something?
SHANE LOWRY: It happened a few years ago, that Chinese kid at the Masters. Why has there only been two, you know, players getting done in the last sort of four years I think. The only way they can do the shots -- it's the only way they can police it, I think.

Q. Do you feel that you are nearly there with regards to winning another tournament, because you're making such good starts; do you feel like you're just knocking on the door now and it's only a matter of time before another one comes?
SHANE LOWRY: A few times this season, like I've shot a good, you know, first round, I've been up there, Augusta, Phoenix, Honda last week. A few tournaments I've been there or thereabouts going into weekends and I just kind of fell away a little bit. I think if I can put four rounds together is the big thing.

My bad rounds are probably not good enough. Albeit, I feel like the courses I've been playing have been very tough. But when you play average, you do badly, like that's the way it is over there. The courses we're playing are a lot tougher than what I was used to in previous years.

My average golf is maybe just one or two shots worse than it needs to be, but my good golf is definitely good enough. So if I can just put four rounds together, I'm definitely close to winning again. I feel, if you look at I went there at the Masters, good Thursday, average Friday, but I was still there come the weekend, and you can really learn from putting yourself in those situations.

Same last week: What is regarded as the fifth major, I was in the last group on Saturday. I learn a lot from those situations and take them forward with me and hopefully I can win them in those situations and I can do a little bit better.

Q. Do you feel that you have a mental side to overcome going into the weekend?
SHANE LOWRY: No, I don't think it's as bad as that. It's not like I've been throwing away leads with nine holes to go on Sundays. I think it's just going out and doing my own thing, keep doing what I've been doing for the last while, and you know, eventually, it will all fall into place I think.

Q. And this is the 10th anniversary of The Ryder Cup here, I'm sure you'll remember the famous saying, and I know Darren has said you're very much on his radar, but it must make you think of Ryder Cup when you come here?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it's hard not to think of Ryder Cup in a Ryder Cup year to be honest. I was here on the Friday back in 2006. I remember Darren going to the first tee and Pádraig, and I remember just out watching the golf, I remember the atmosphere was crazy. It was good to be here. Hopefully I get to experience that in the near future. Hopefully it will be this year at Hazeltine.

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