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January 16, 2019

Shane Lowry

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Q. You've equaled the course record with a round of 62. Just describe your feelings for us.
SHANE LOWRY: I mean, I don't know, like it's weird. Golf just a funny game, isn't it. Obviously quite a lot of time off since the World Cup, but put in a decent bit of work the last two weeks over here in Dubai and just gone out with not much expectation but knew I was playing okay, and yeah, everything clicked. I mean, I didn't hit as many fairways as I would have liked, but I was hitting everything close and managed to hole a couple of putts, as well. It was one of those days where it just felt comfortable. Even standing there on the last hole, sometimes you can get a little bit anxious or nervous in situations like that, but I just felt great, hit a long, good drive, nice second shot, didn't hit a great putt. But it's just -- yeah, it's just a funny game. But look, I just want to enjoy it because it's a great day, and I think it equals my best round I've ever had, so enjoy it and then get out tomorrow and see what I can do.

Q. Where does it rank in the best rounds you've ever played because 62 at the Irish Open in 2009 equals that score.
SHANE LOWRY: No, I think it's pretty good. On this golf course, look, obviously the scoring is quite good, and the par-5s are reachable and the greens are real good and receptive this morning. But yeah, to shoot 62 on any course, yeah, it's definitely up there with one of the best scores I've ever shot.

Q. Could you ever imagine shooting 62? I look at this golf course, and 72 is a decent score. 7,500 yards, the rough is up, it's not wide off the tee.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, look, this morning we were out there, the greens were receptive enough, and that's what kind of makes it a little bit easier. When they get crusty, it'll become more difficult, but I was just going out there trying to make a few birdies and trying to shoot in the 60s and play my way into the tournament, and yeah, 10-under is nice.

Q. Obviously it is a challenge to go out and shoot a low score after you've shot a really low one the day before. How will you approach that?
SHANE LOWRY: Look, it's funny, I had a great conversation with my coach last night. He's here, and we had a coffee and we were just talking about things, and you know, we both agreed that like in this game, you just have to go out, shoot the best score you can no matter what score you shoot, and we were talking about if I go out there and shoot 74 today, I still have to just go and have my dinner this evening and go out and see what I can shoot tomorrow, so that's kind of what I try and do is just go out and try and shoot the best score I can.

Q. That equals your lowest ever round on the European Tour and of course the course record here. That's a pretty fantastic way to start this tournament.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, look, I'm obviously over the moon. It equals the best score I've ever shot. I knew that, as well, and I said it to my caddie coming down the last. A birdie here would be the best score I've ever shot, which obviously -- he said, well, then why don't you just go for it. I mean, look, I left the putt short, but I felt like I hit a decent putt, it was just a bit more into the grain than I felt, and yeah, obviously I'm very chuffed.

Q. Obviously you've played practice rounds on this golf course, pro-am. Do you look at, envisage that kind of score when you're looking ahead?
SHANE LOWRY: No, to be honest, like the first couple of days I played here, the fairways were very narrow out there, and I was struggling to see the fairways after the tee, to see the ball shaping into them because you've got to hit literally the perfect shot into a lot of the fairways. You just have to play the course I think aggressively and hit driver a lot and get the shortest go as you can going into these greens. That's how the game kind of went, and obviously it worked today.

Q. First big event of the new year, obviously, a bit of time off, is there a certain amount of freshness playing a part in today's round, as well?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I had a lovely break at Christmas. I was home for the whole lot of it, and I came out here with my family and rented a house in Dubai. We've had it since the 3rd of January. Myself and Paul Dunne are sharing the house and we're practising together and we've been playing a lot together over at the Els Club together over in Dubai, and we got some great work done. I feel good about my game. It's probably the best preseason I've ever done, and it showed today. I'm just hoping I can keep going.

Q. When you look ahead to tomorrow, how do you plan mentally to try and back up what you've done today?
SHANE LOWRY: I just need to -- I mean, first of all, I think I really need to enjoy this because days like -- best round of your career doesn't come around very often, obviously. Just enjoy it, have a nice dinner, see my family, and get out tomorrow and just hit my tee shot down the 1st and go for it from there.

Q. You've just had the best round of your life.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it was one of the best. I mean, like obviously it was the best actual score, one of the best -- it equals the best score I've ever shot, but I think I've had better rounds in tougher conditions. But it's up there. Perfect conditions this morning out there, and I just went down and did pretty much a lot of things right. The one thing I was very happy with is how I didn't panic at all when I got to like 6-, 7-, 8-under. I was 8-under through like 11 holes, and I had about a 15-footer on the 4th hole, which was my 12th, to go 9-under, and I was genuinely thinking, if I hole this and manage to make a couple more before the last two holes, I'll have a chance at that.

I was getting Ollie Fisher, and funny, I had dinner with him last night, we were talking about it, but look, 10-under is a great score, and I'm very happy with it.

Q. That is a danger, isn't it, where your score can kind of take over your mind, so that in many respects must be the things that you're particularly pleased with?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, and I got very lucky on the 5th hole, my 13th. I hit an awful tee shot there and I got very lucky, got a free drop away from like a building and managed to hit it on the green and make par, and that was a big momentum in my round because if you make bogey or double there, which I was looking like walking up after my tee shot, all of a sudden you're hanging on from there. But yeah, I just kept going and tried to make birdies, tried to hit good shots, and that's what I did.

Q. You've obviously been basing yourself in America in recent seasons. Does it feel more like being at home back here now?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, like I mean, this is the first time I've played here since 2014. Like I normally start at the Farmers at Torrey Pines, which is in a couple of weeks or next week maybe, but I lost my card over there last year, so obviously I'm very lucky that I have my card here in Europe, as well. I get to come back and play in huge tournaments here, and to start the year with a Rolex Series event here in Abu Dhabi, it's great to be here, and I'm very happy to be here, and I'm playing decent golf, so hopefully I can get going now and see if I can have a decent result.

Q. I know it's a very long way in the future and it's all about the here and now, but you know what I'm going to say, an Irish Ryder Cup captain, your thoughts?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, look, like I sat down at the end of the year to plan out my schedule for this season, and I could have got in a few events in America if I tried with my category and maybe got an invite here or there, but my main goal for the next 18 months is to be on the -- playing with Paddy, and I'm obviously very good friends with him, and it would obviously -- I've never played Ryder Cup, and I really want to at some stage, but to play with him as my captain would be unbelievable, yeah. That's my plan, yeah.

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