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September 17, 2019

Shane Lowry

Surrey, England

NEIL AHERN: Shane, welcome back to Wentworth.

SHANE LOWRY: Thank you.

NEIL AHERN: We are joined by Keith Pelley in the interview room and he has a very special presentation to make to you.

KEITH PELLEY: So as has become a custom on The European Tour for all European Tour members that win a major, you receive Honorary Life Membership, and so I'm here to present Shane with his Honorary Life Membership.

SHANE LOWRY: Thanks very much.

KEITH PELLEY: It was a memorable occasion in Royal Portrush, and I think I speak on behalf of certainly everybody at The European Tour, but the way that everybody reacted globally to your win, on social media, the players, the fans, sponsor, and of course, your grandmother. It was a spectacular win, and it is a complete delight and privilege to award you with an Honorary Life Membership.

SHANE LOWRY: It means a lot. Thank you. Thanks, Keith.

NEIL AHERN: Shane, you've joined an esteemed list of honorary members. Can you tell us how it feels, first of all.

SHANE LOWRY: It's pretty cool, isn't it. I suppose I never thought, you start playing golf when you're a kid and you don't know how good you can be, or even when you started playing as a pro. I didn't know that I would get to this day but yeah, it's pretty cool.

I've obviously joined a nice list of names, which is pretty good, as well. It's just, look, The European Tour, obviously my heart lies with The European Tour. I'll always be a member. I love coming back and I love playing in events like this. Yeah, it's an extreme privilege.

Q. Everywhere you go now, you get introduced as, "Champion Golfer of the Year." How does it sound and has it sunk in yet? Is it still nice to hear that?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it has sunk in. I mean, like for me, personally, right, I've played a couple of events in the States since The Open, and I'm coming back here this week and I've not met a lot of people, all The European Tour players and all my friends, it's kind of new again where everybody is coming up and congratulating me.

Yeah, like the first time I was announced as Champion Golfer of the Year was pretty cool. It's just nice. It's a lovely title to have.

But yeah, it's kind of sunk in now. To be honest, I'm quite eager to get on with my golf and I'm looking forward to, you know, trying to achieve different goals I have the rest of the year.

Q. Looking back at your past record in this event, it's incredible. It's obviously a course that suits your eye, is it?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, look, I love it here. I think this is one of my favorite events in the world. Every time I come here, you know, just the area itself around Wentworth, Ascot, Sunningdale, it's just a lovely place to be. The golf course, I've always really liked, even when it used to get a lot of bad press before. They changed it a couple years ago again. Even when they made the changes first back in 2010, I actually really liked it and I just thought it was quite a difficult golf course and I just loved it.

But yeah, look, like I said, it's one of my favorite events of the year and I just love coming back.

Q. Incredible field this week, but a lot of the field, and you're one of them, haven't played a lot of golf in recent weeks. Is there a bit of rustiness or do you expect the cobwebs to be blown off fairly quickly?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, look, I don't know, like I'll tell you Sunday evening -- hopefully Sunday evening.

Yeah, probably going to be a little bit of rustiness out there. I played today and I played some golf last week. I feel like I'm playing okay. Mentally I'm in a good place and I just feel like I can go out and play my own game and see what score I shoot. Like I said, I like it around here, and you know, I've shot some good scores, so hopefully I can bring back some good memories.

Q. You mentioned there you were eager to get back into action and fulfil some goals for the rest of the year. What are those goals? Race to Dubai, presumably a priority?
SHANE LOWRY: Well, that's the obvious one I think. I've got quite a few events left this year, and I just -- you know, they are all big events. I'm obviously No. 1 in The Race to Dubai now and I want to stay there, but I'm going to have to play some good golf and I'm going to have to maybe win again.

But I'm just going to go out like I've been doing all year, day after day and try and shoot as good a score as I can and see where it leaves me the at the end of it. First and foremost I want to win The Race to Dubai at the end of the year.

Q. Francesco Molinari was talking about some tricky scheduling issues with the compacted schedules. How have you found it and how many more events do you have coming up?
SHANE LOWRY: I think it's worked out all right for me. Obviously it has, but I think -- I've not minded the way the schedules that gone this year. I think it's pretty good.

For guys like -- I'm surprised to hear them say that, because I think for guys like us to play both tours, I think it actually works out quite well. You can come back and play some really good events in Europe this time of year and it even shows with some American guys coming over, as well. I think it's worked out quite well.

Q. You didn't feel it was squeezed? I suppose if you're in good form --
SHANE LOWRY: You know, it depends. I mean, if you're trying to find form, it's difficult, because they feel like they are coming thick and fast. But we all knew at the start of the year when the events were going to be. It's not like it was thrown upon you. You had to try and get ready as best you could.

Q. Finally, which tournaments are you playing? Do you know precisely, the end of the year till Dubai?
SHANE LOWRY: I'm playing this week, Dunhill next week. I'll playing Italy and I'm playing over in Zozo, and then I'm playing -- what's after that -- China, and then I'm playing two of the last three, definitely Dubai. I don't know what I'm doing with Turkey and South Africa. So that's kind of the events I'm playing. They are all huge events I'm going to need to do well in if I want to win The Race to Dubai.

Q. You were pictured with Ian Finnis, Tommy Fleetwood's caddie playing golf in Portugal. How much reminiscing was there of the final round at Royal Portrush?
SHANE LOWRY: Well, I didn't want to rub it in too much. I know him quite well and I just seen he's down there on holiday and I was there, as well. Just got in touch, got a slot on Wednesday morning and see if he wanted to play and he played.

We talked about the key points in the round and stuff like that, and wasn't too much. I suppose there's a little bit, but not too much.

Q. You mentioned about having -- being congratulated by all the other players and other people at The European Tour, but how many times are you getting stopped and recognized? How has that side of your life changed since The Open?
SHANE LOWRY: I suppose quite a bit, yeah. I'm fairly recognizable with my beard I think and stuff and I just feel like, yeah, like I'm out and about, but I do my normal things, like day-to-day, I drop Iris to school and drop her off and we go to the playground and we go for a coffee.

Yeah, I do get stopped a little bit more. It actually when I -- I bring her with me so I don't have to stop and talk because she's always running around (smiling).

I do, but I think personally, like I think I've taken it in my stride pretty well, and I think I've handled it pretty well in the last few weeks. You know, going forward, obviously, yeah, we'll see what it's like.

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