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May 15, 2009
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thank you for joining us. Maybe start us off giving an assessment of a very special day for you today.
SHANE LOWRY: I don't know what to think to be honest. I just tried to go out there and play the game I played yesterday, and I holed a lot more putts today. It's like a dream, really, the way I putted. It's an unbelievable feeling to be leading by two shots over a field like this. I didn't expect it coming into the tournament, but I expected to do well.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Is that the lowest round of your career?
SHANE LOWRY: Yes, by four or five shots, maybe six shots.
Q. What made the difference? What brought about the 62?
SHANE LOWRY: I got off to a flying start and chipped in on the first. Then missed a short one on the second for birdie and then birdied the third and fourth. Chipped in for eagle on 6 to go to 5-under.
After that, just went around. I holed a good putt on 9 to go 6-under, and I was just thinking, the back nine playing tougher, I wasn't thinking 10-under. I was just thinking of getting it around and being in a good position tomorrow going out.
This is as good as I can ask for.
Q. Over the last few weeks in amateur tournaments, you've had some fantastic rounds. Was there anything in your mind about sort of coming in this week saying you're ready to do something special and in terms of trying to put four of them together?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I could have won in Royal Dublin last week, and I could have won at Lytham the week before, and just had a bad round in each tournament.
If I could put four rounds together in each round, you never know what can happen. I was just coming in here thinking about making the cut and doing quite well for myself, but working out okay.
Q. In terms of the chip-ins, can you give us roughly the distance of them?
SHANE LOWRY: The first was just maybe four yards off the edge of the green. I just hit a little pitch-and-run and perfect pace and went in.
Then on the sixth, I just missed the green just right. I was just off the green maybe by a couple of yards, and then hit a great pitch again. It was going to be stone-dead and just managed to drop in.
Q. You just said you weren't thinking of winning before you came here. Are you thinking of winning now?
SHANE LOWRY: It's hard not to to be honest. And for anyone that says, don't look at the score boards, it's hard not to look at the score boards out there. There's not many of them and when you see your name up there, you obviously think you can win. I don't know, I'm just going to go out and try to play golf at the weekend and see how it goes from there. If I won, it would open all new doors to me, but I'm just going to go out and try to play as best I can.
Q. Do you know the weather forecast for tomorrow is pretty dire and you're starting very early in the morning and so on, to get out early before the storm comes?
SHANE LOWRY: I didn't know that, no.
Q. Would those kind of conditions bother you?
SHANE LOWRY: Obviously it's going to be tough if it's really bad, but I'll just go out and try to grind it away if it's bad weather and see how it goes.
Q. You're pretty accustomed to playing in the wind?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, being from Ireland, you know, obviously it's all I grew up playing in and I should be able to handle it.
Q. Are you getting the courtesy car treatment or are you driving yourself?
SHANE LOWRY: No, driving in myself. Staying up in Castlebellingham, renting a house for the week and a few of the family is staying up there, as well, and driving in and out myself.
Q. Will you be doing that tomorrow?
SHANE LOWRY: I don't know, might try to get a courtesy car anyway.
Q. Did your mom and dad --
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, a lot of people from up there and from around my home area and great support out there. I haven't spoken to them yet. I'm sure they are thrilled.
Q. Do you have a pink jumper or did you have to go and get this especially?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, a guy at a barbeque the other week, mentioned I needed a pink jumper.
Q. You get off to a start like that, you shot 67 yesterday, you know you're playing well and you said you've been playing well, and you love Baltray. But at any stage, do you start getting nervous, because you've got a great score going and you're leading the tournament; do you look at score boards?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, at one stage in the round, I didn't even know what score I was. I was just going around playing.
But yeah, it's very nerve-wracking out there. But I managed, I didn't hit too many bad shots today. I hit one bad shot I think, one really -- well, not really bad, but hit in the bunker on 11 and made bogey. That was probably the worst shot I made all day. And if you're bad shots are that bad, it's going to be a good round.
So I tried not to make mistakes, that's all I was trying to do really, and the putts just dropped.
Q. Is your car in the field?
SHANE LOWRY: It's down by the tennis courts.
Q. On the half-ground or in the mud?
SHANE LOWRY: In the mud.
Q. So you might need a courtesy car.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I might need a courtesy car home, yeah.
Q. When did you know it wasn't a course record? Were you aware very soon?
SHANE LOWRY: I look up on the scoreboard and I seen 6-under and four at the start after shooting 62, and I remember he was 5-over yesterday.
Q. Rory gets a hell of a lot of attention the last couple of years; where have you been in your career in relation to him golf-wise? Have you played against him or with him?
SHANE LOWRY: I heard of Rory as an amateur maybe for the last year and a half he was an amateur. I know him quite well and I've played a practice round with him the other day. He's doing unbelievably well for himself at such a young age.
Q. (Can you compare yourself to Rory)?
SHANE LOWRY: No, I wouldn't even put myself in the same league he is at this stage. Hopefully at some stage in my career I would be as good as him but I wouldn't even put myself up there with him.
Q. In terms of playing against the professionals, has it changed your mind about turning pro earlier, or the fact that you were able to compete yesterday and today, that must give you great confidence.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it does, but my main goal for the season is still to play Walker Cup. It's always been a dream of mine and I want to try and fulfill that and turn pro then after that and see what happens from there.
Q. Everybody would followed you was a nervous wreck but you were completely cool all the way around. Is that your normal disposition?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, you can ask my mom about that one, she'll tell you. Yeah, I'm laid back. Just let things happen and I just take every day at a time and see what happens.
Q. Are you what we call a full-time amateur? Have you done any work?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah.
Q. Have you had a job of any sort?
SHANE LOWRY: No. I tried college for a couple of months but didn't work out. No, I've been playing full-blown amateur golf for about three years now I would say, 2 1/2 years.
So I'm grateful that my parents have let me do that. I'm grateful to them to let me do that.
Q. There were a couple DQs today, you had a couple yourself in the amateur career. How long did you spend checking your card?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, my caddie was in there checking a couple of times, I was checking it a couple of times and the girl at the desk checked it for me. Yeah, I was relieved to get it in and get the score on the board.
Q. The caddie being?
SHANE LOWRY: Dale Schaffer, he caddied for me all the time whenever -- well, in my home tournament and in Britain sometimes.
Q. Is he a member of Esker Hills?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, member of Esker Hills.
Q. A lot of discussion of sport around your table given the history with your dad being a big footballer, did you play football as a youth or did golf lure you straightaway?
SHANE LOWRY: Well, I only started playing golf, like I played pitch-and-putt around 13, started playing golf then and played football until I was 16 maybe and then made a decision.
Q. Were you any good?
SHANE LOWRY: Average, very average.
Q. Rumour has it you have a brother who is as good as you.
SHANE LOWRY: Don't know, we'll see, a couple of years we'll tell that. We'll see in a couple years how he gets on.
Q. What's his name?
SHANE LOWRY: Alan.
Q. With the galleries and big-time atmosphere and playing with the professionals, how do you manage to keep your focus and play your own game and not get distracted?
SHANE LOWRY: A lot of my people said to me during the week, just go out and play like it's East of Ireland and just try and go out and play the course. I know the course really well. I'm not worrying about the galleries at all actually. I like playing in front of galleries.
But tomorrow it will be a whole different crowd. I'm looking toward to it and I can't wait to get out there tomorrow.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Can we get your birdies and bogeys?
SHANE LOWRY: Chipped in the first, birdied the third and fourth. Third, I hit rescue, I hit driver, rescue on to the green and two putts.
4, I hit driver, lob-wedge to four feet and holed it.
6, I chipped in for eagle.
9, I hit driver, gap wedge to ten feet and holed it.
10, I hit driver, gap wedge to about six feet, holed it, as well.
Bogeyed 11. Missed the green with a 7-iron and hit a good bunker shot and actually hit a good putt but it would just go left of the hole.
Then bounced back straightaway with a good birdie and 12, I hit 3-wood, 6-iron to about 15 feet and holed it.
And 14, I drove it up just pin-high and chipped onto three feet and holed it.
Then on 15, I hit 6-iron to about 20 feet and holed that one again.
Then 18, I hit driver, 3-wood just short of the green and pitched up to about a foot and a half and holed that one.
SHANE LOWRY: I was looking at the thing on Golf Night a couple of weeks ago, and Danny Willett says he thinks the level of top amateur golf and professional golf is not too much different. I've seen loads of guys from the amateur scene over the last couple of years, Rory, Chris Wood, Danny Lee obviously, they have all done really well for themselves. Obviously it gives you inspiration in trying to think I'm good enough to play.
Q. At what point or any point out there did you realise you were in the lead at the Irish Open?
SHANE LOWRY: I actually knew when I had a 6-footer for birdie on 10, and I knew that it was to go tied with the leader. I said to myself would I like to be at the top of the leaderboard at least once, so I holed it. That's the first time I knew I was leading.
Q. Thrill of your life so far?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it's great, yeah. Unbelievable day. I'll never forget this day as long as I loaf.
Q. And your mom's name?
SHANE LOWRY: Bridget.
Q. Just on the wind forecast tomorrow, you've played west and Royal Dublin last week and all the rest of it, do you think like, way, bring it on, I can handle it?
SHANE LOWRY: It's going to be tough and I'm going to be nervous, as well. I'll try and handle it as best I can ask see what happens from there.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Shane, well done. Good luck over the weekend.
End of FastScripts