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July 5, 2017

Shane Lowry

Portstewart, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Welcome, great to see you here as always. Just start us off with your thoughts on the DDF Irish Open. Obviously a very, very special tournament for you.

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it is. It's obviously great to be here. I can't remember ever playing Portstewart. And getting to see the golf course the last couple of days, well, it's a great golf course. I mean, it's one of the nicest courses around I've played to be honest. I really like it. I think it's going to be a great tournament this week.

Obviously all the work that Dubai Duty Free and the Rory Foundation and Rory himself have put into it; and it's great to see players like Hideki and Jon Rahm, and a very strong field here this week. It's great to be playing your home tournament with such a strong field in it.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Do you still get memories of 2009 when you come back to any Irish Open?

SHANE LOWRY: Not really. I came in quite under the radar that week. But obviously Baltray was huge, and it was actually a field it's such a long time ago now. It doesn't feel like I'm on Tour that long but I actually am.

Yeah, I'll be forever grateful for The Irish Open, I suppose. I think no matter what I do, if I ever win a major, it will never top that week.

Q. I've seen an interview from yourself the last few days you said, you were happy with your game now. Obviously you missed the cut last week. What will it take and would this be an ideal place for it all to click back into gear?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it would be. I'd love to win The Irish Open again. What would it take? I don't know. If I knew that I would be able to bottle it and sell it for a lot of money I think.

I feel my game is good. Listen, I shot two bad scores in France last week. It wasn't very good. But I felt like my game was okay, it's funny. And then I come out here yesterday. I did a bit of practise over the weekend. It was okay, and I felt like I was hitting it pretty good. I was fine, felt comfortable.

Then I was pretty poor yesterday, even when I played here. I just played a few extra holes. I was only supposed to play nine and I ended up playing 16 holes, and it got better and better as it went on. Then I went out on the front today and played lovely.

I'm pretty happy the way things are going. I feel good on the greens. Drove the ball lovely today and my iron play feels good. We'll just have to wait and see. Links golf can obviously throw a bit of bad weather here and there, and you might get a bad side or a good side of the draw, and we just have to wait and see.

Listen, like I say, every week I have to go out and give my best and see where it leaves me Sunday. If it leaves me at the top of the leaderboard, I'd be more than chuffed.

Q. Pádraig Harrington was saying yesterday that you can't go by results; if you do look at those, you'll drive yourself crazy. Is that the way you have to look at it, given your form of late?
SHANE LOWRY: Yes, I mean, end of the day, the only thing that matters is the result, though. You know, it's a very result orientated sport. Doesn't matter what your stats are like. If your results are not good, you're not good. You're not good and that's it.

But yeah, I do understand what he's saying there. You need to just kind of for me it's all about just giving it my best. Going out and not getting in my own way, giving it my best and seeing what happens.

Q. You touched upon the Pro Am. What were your highlights, and what score do you think is going to be needed over the next four days?
SHANE LOWRY: My highlights in the Pro Am? I drove it well. I was struggling a bit with my driver yesterday and I drove it lovely today. It was a bit more, probably long drive yesterday and wasn't feeling great and didn't play great.

Today just drove it well. I think if you play the par 5s all right here, you know, there's a couple of tricky par 3s. It's a tricky course. It's hard to say what the winning score is going to be. Obviously there's a forecast but you don't know exactly what it's going to do. It could turn at any minute.

I think it's going to be pretty low. I would say in the teens. But I don't really know to be honest. I would take probably 12 , 14 under at this stage. Any lower, any higher, yeah, 12 , 14 under, something like that.

Q. Have you missed being at the business end of the tournament; is that something you want to taste again this week?
SHANE LOWRY: Well, I was only there about a month ago, two weeks in a row. Wentworth and Memorial, I was there for a long time.

Q. Pádraig was saying yesterday it took him around ten years to get preparation for The Irish Open right. Do you feel like you've got your preparation right this year?
SHANE LOWRY: I hope so. I don't know. It's obviously the Irish Open. Takes you an hour after your round taking photographs and signing autographs, and you're not used to doing that. You come off the Pro Am in France last week, and you just walk in the locker room and go and have your lunch.

It's different, I know how to deal with it. It's fine like. The Irish people only get to see us play in Ireland once a year. Why not give them that time? I think they deserve it. They are great supporters of us and they are great supporters of our golf.

But yeah, I didn't realise, I suppose when I won in Baltray, I come in and no one really knew who I was or what I was doing, so it was easy. Then the few years after that, it gets use to takes a while getting used to playing in The Irish Open, but I've done all right in the past. I'm pretty confident that I've prepared all right this week. Have a little bit of practise to do this afternoon, but I'm pretty confident I've prepared all right. Look, like I said, I just have to go out tomorrow and give it my best and see what happens.

Q. Rory told us before being Irish put a lot of pressure on him to play here and like last year winning, shift this to balance.
SHANE LOWRY: I suppose there is extra pressure, but just put it on yourself. There's no one out there going to come in under the ropes and hit you a dig if you hit a bad shot. You know, it's that's exactly the way it is. The most pressure comes from ourselves.

But that's like every week for me. I just want to do well. I'm so eager to do well that I probably do put a bit too much pressure on myself at times and I do try too hard. But look, I'm only human and that's what I do.

Q. Is that what you mean, when you say, getting in your own way?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, like we do get in our own way, as golfers, like it's kind of you need to just kind of keep going, keep hitting the shots and keep hitting good shots but sometimes it's just hard and sometimes you just get in your own way and it just happens. Like it's almost most of the time when it happens, it's too late.

You realise, I've done something wrong there, but yeah, like I've gotten in my own way in the past but I'm sure everyone has and that's the way it is and that's the way sport is and that's definitely the way golf is. I think I'm better at getting the most out of my game these days.

Q. I think it was Graeme McDowell yesterday said that golf is an incredibly simple game that we insist on making incredibly difficult.
SHANE LOWRY: I said it Monday, as well. I was doing something I think it was Jack Nicklaus, I don't know the exact quote, but we try it's an easy game, we try and make it hard for ourselves. But it's actually a hard game and you need to try and make it as easy as you can for yourself. That's kind of the way I look at it and that's the way it has to be.

Q. On big weeks like this, what do you to relax in your downtime?
SHANE LOWRY: My family just arrived up so I'm going to spend the afternoon with them. We have an apartment in Portrush. It will be just nice to chill out for the day. Most weeks I just do what I have to do at the golf course and get out of there. Depending on it's a nice day today, we might go for a walk down the beach or something. But just relax, take it easy and that will be it, really. Nothing major.

Q. Is that balance as important as what you do on the golf course, your downtime, away from the golf?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I suppose. It's important to be fresh coming into big weeks and not trying to do too much in practise and not trying to force it too much. Because you're out there Thursday morning and you warm up for an hour or whatever it is, and you just have to go with what you have that day. Yes, I just think it's very important to be fresh.

Q. The golf course, how does it set up for you? Do you like the shape of the holes? Is it good for your wedge game? Seems to be a lot of emphasis on wedge play, would seem to suit you.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, the golf course is very good. It's definitely one of the best courses around, one of the nicest ones. I played it in perfect weather yesterday and perfect weather it this morning. It will probably be 20 mile an hour winds when we go out there tomorrow and play totally different.

Yeah, it's a lovely golf course. I'm not sure what the scoring is going to be like. You know, people will shoot 5 , 6 , 7 under on some, someone will. I don't know. Will they keep it going for the whole week? I don't think they will. There's certainly spots you can get yourself in trouble, but it's fairly generous.

It is a golf course I like. I think it's a golf course you can be fairly aggressive on and make a lot of birdies. That's kind of the game plan for the week is hit the driver, go down and find it and hit it again.

Q. Could you pick out three holes that you think are going to be really key?
SHANE LOWRY: I just think the par 5s, if you play the par 5s, the par 5s are very gettable. If you hit a good drive, you're only hitting irons in. But if you hit it in the rough, then f a sudden you've got a tricky lay p and you're trying to avoid the fairway bunkers which are lay ups.

I think the par 5s are definitely going to be key this week, and obviously I think there's two par 3s, 6 and 15, are two proper par 3s that are quite tricky but really good holes.

Q. Will you be following the Lions this weekend
SHANE LOWRY: Well, yeah, that's extra incentive to get a late tee time Saturday so I can watch the Lions Saturday morning.

It's going to be very difficult for them this week but I don't know much about rugby. I watch it and I follow it but I'm not going to say too much. Yeah, you know, it will be great to see them do well. It will be great to see the Irish lads so well, especially.

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