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September 8, 2021

Shane Lowry

Virginia Water, Surrey, England

Wentworth Golf Club

Press Conference

BRIONY CARLYON: Welcome back to the BMW PGA Championship this week. You've got a phenomenal record here at Wentworth Club. What are you expecting for the week and how much are you looking forward to being back here and playing in another Rolex Series Event?

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, look, I love coming back here. Since I came here first in 2010 I've always really enjoyed it. It's not just the golf course. It's the whole area itself. I just love being here. I think it's a great part of the world.

And yeah, like you said, I've had some decent success around here and I've shot some good scores and played some good rounds. I've not quite won around here but I've not been far away a couple of times and hopefully I can give it a bit of a run this week.

Q. Does it feel slightly different this week with all that's going on in the background, and how do you assess your situation?

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, look, obviously I'm here and probably a few people gunning for me this week but I'm in a great position. I've worked very hard this year to get there. I've spent definitely the last five, six years trying to make a Ryder Cup Team. So I feel like I've got a great opportunity this week and looking forward to going out and trying to do it.

Like I feel like I've played some really good golf over the last while and my form is good, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Go back to the old golf clichés, I can only look after myself and one shot at a time and all that stuff, and try to shoot the best scores I can and have the best week I can. If there's a week that I'm coming to try and perform, Wentworth is one of the places I like to play. So hopefully I can go out and perform well this week.

Q. Congratulations on becoming a dad again. Fair to say that's been timed to perfection?

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it wasn't very good timing, was it. It was the week of THE TOUR Championship. It's been great. Obviously it's amazing. It's far bigger than any golf tournament or any result you'll ever have or anything you'll ever do. It's been amazing and everyone is great at home, and I'm so grateful and thankful for all that. I actually still can't believe I have two kids. It's mad but it's great.

Obviously the main thing is both of them, Wendy and Ivy are happy and healthy. Tough leaving them this week and being here but I have a job to do.

Q. You've had some big performances this week, how do you feel about your game coming into this really big week?

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it's been pretty good. Pretty consistent. I feel like I would have liked to have obviously had a couple of more chances to win but I feel like my results have been quite good and quite steady and I've shot some very low scores over the last while. It's been good but I can't really complain about anything.

My whole game feels pretty good and I had a week last week, I didn't really get to do much. So a bit of practise yesterday and obviously today as well so hopefully I'm ready to go tomorrow.

Q. There's an awful lot going on around you at the moment, we got confirmation today about Portrush in 2025.

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it's great it's going back quickly. Obviously in my very biased opinion, it's one of the best Opens I've ever played in. But no, without taking the win out of it and all that, I think anybody you talked to, the American players and the other players that played, they really enjoyed the venue and thought it was one of the great Opens that they played.

It's great to be going back there in 2025. Look forward to it. Don't have to worry about being in it or not. I'll be there. It's great it's coming back quickly, and exciting for the people in Portrush and Ireland that we are going back there.

Q. How much does it mean to you to be playing in front of really big crowds again?

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it's been great. Look I'm fortunate I'm over on the PGA TOUR, as well, so we've been doing it pretty much all year.

But when you come to the likes of Wentworth, like we were obviously here with no crowds and it's just not the same. And I personally feel like without crowds, I struggled when we came back after COVID after lockdown. I don't know whether that had anything to do with it.

But I think it's great to have -- it is great to have the crowds back and it is going to be great to have thousands of people out there this week and hopefully in some sunshine on an iconic venue. That's what it's all about. It's about entertaining the people and that's our job and yeah, look forward to doing it this week.

Q. Does come a time this week where if the win is out of reach, you'll change focus and start looking at the blokes that are close to you in the qualifying race, and sort of almost go head-to-head and try to match what they are doing?

SHANE LOWRY: I don't -- look, obviously I'll have a close eye on it all week. Look, I kind of know what's happening. I kind of know what's going on. There's a lot of guys that have a chance this week. You know, I'm one of them.

So I just need to go out and play my best golf. If I just keep doing what I'm doing, I think I'll be fine. I've said it all along, I've said it all year, there's been a lot of Ryder Cup talk all year, and I've not shied away from talking about it. So I think I'll just look after myself and keep doing what I'm doing and I think I'll be fine.

Q. Just wondering how are things with Pádraig these days? Is it a bit like the elephant in the room, the chats these days, talking about The Ryder Cup or has he been able to speak to you about partnerships and people you'd like to play with? And secondly, what is it about this golf course that you like so much, and is that a comfort in the situation you're in this week?

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, look, obviously myself and Pádraig have a very good friendship and a very good relationship and yes I have spoken to him a little bit over the last while. But no, no partnerships or relationships or anything like that. I'm sure he's waiting to finalise his team before he starts talking about that to my players. I'm sure he's spoken to guys that are already on the team about stuff like that.

But you know, what it is I like about Wentworth, I think it's not just the -- it's actually not just the golf course or Wentworth itself. It's just the whole area. I love coming, we're fortunate we get to stay in such a lovely hotel like Cowarth Park and you're around Ascot and Sunningdale, and it's a nice place to go and hang out and be, and it's a lovely place to play golf.

The crowds here are amazing. The British golf crowds are the best in the world and they acknowledge a good shot and they know how to act on the golf course. It's just nice being out here and playing a tournament like this, and I've loved it from day one. It's always felt like a major to me. I just loved it from day one. Yeah, other than that, that's, it really.

Q. Can you talk about Viktor Hovland and his career so far, please.

SHANE LOWRY: Look, obviously I don't really know Viktor that well. Obviously I see him around and speak to him a little bit. Yeah, there's no shying away from how good he is and what he's done over the last couple of years. I think he's obviously one of the best players in the world and he will be for a long time.

So yeah, I don't think there's no real weaknesses in his game, and there's not much more you can say. He's obviously one of Europe's best golfers and one of the best golfers in the world and he'll have a big part to play in The Ryder Cup in a couple of weeks. Hopefully I'm a part of that and hopefully I get to know him better, and yeah, that's it, really.

Q. A little bit about the weekend, can you tell me who are the favourites? I guess Viktor is one of them, why, and someone else, players?

SHANE LOWRY: Who are the favourites? I don't know. I only focus on my own game. That's all I can do. Yeah, like I hope I am. I hope I have a chance to win, and whoever is at the top of the leaderboard, hopefully I'm there on Sunday and whoever is there hopefully I can beat them. So, yeah, I don't really look at who my opponents are until really coming down the stretch on Sunday.

Q. It sounds like you would have had your hands full last week but did you get a chance to see Solheim and specifically Leona?

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I did. It worked out quite well because I wasn't getting much sleep at the weekend and it was on a little bit later. Look, obviously I seen most of it to be honest, pretty much it at all. And as everyone knows, Dermot who used to caddie for me caddies for Leona, and I was asking him about her a couple weeks ago. And he had said to me that she's an unbelievable competitor and an unbelievable evident putter. She obviously showed that at the weekend.

So it was a good call by him and it was an amazing win for them, and something that hopefully I'm part of the team in a couple of weeks and hopefully we can use that to go ahead and match what they did and win on American soil.

Q. Does that give you inspiration as a potential rookie as to what kind of impact you can have?

SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, look, I think -- yeah, I obviously need to go ahead and make the team first this weekend but when it comes to it next week, I want to go and have as big an impact as I can. I want to go and win points if I'm there and do all that type of stuff.

So yeah, like Leona literally had the dream week last week, didn't she. She won the Solheim Cup for Europe last week, and I'd give anything to have the opportunity to go and do that in a couple weeks.

BRIONY CARLYON: Thanks, Shane, for your time. Wish you all the best for this week.

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