July 17, 2021
Sandwich, Kent, England, UK
SHANE LOWRY: I'm disappointed to be honest. I think I missed four putts inside five feet. And they're not even -- two of them were probably three feet or less. I probably should be closer to the leaders than I am. But I played great. Like tee to green I was as good as I've been all year. Today was similar to yesterday.
I'm disappointed because I feel like I'm probably too far back. I feel like the leaders might go away from the field a little bit this evening. It's just so nice out there now. The course is pretty gettable. Yeah, there's a couple of tough flags, but you can get close to them if you're in position off the tee.
Yeah, I battled. I birdied 16 and 17 and holed a great putt for par on the last, so I'm kind of proud of myself how I battled. I'm lying 10 going into the final or whatever I'm going to be, but close enough to there going into the final round of The Open.
If I can go ahead and shoot 5- or 6-under tomorrow, we're going to have similar conditions -- I think if I play the game golf I did today and manage to roll a few putts in, I think I can shoot that score. Whether it will be good enough to win or not I don't know, but I'm probably a couple of shots short of where I want to be to have a chance to win.
Q. You must be delighted at the strength of the defense you've made.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, a pretty strong defense. I got off to a pretty shaky start Thursday and battled well. I've been doing that all year. Any time I've kind of been the opposite side of a cut mark or my back is against the wall, I've been coming out of it very well.
Mentally I've been good and I've been fighting very hard this year, and I feel like I'm playing great golf. I just feel like out there -- I feel like if I put myself in position I can hit it close to most flags. My iron play feels quite good.
It's a good position to be in. I missed a short putt early on, which was a killer, and then for the rest of the day you're a bit edgy, and I missed another one on 9. Any time I kind of got a bit of momentum, that kind of killed me.
But to finish the way I did, I holed three nice putts the last three holes, and that's quite pleasing, because I could easily be sitting here on 2- or 3-under way out of the tournament.
5-under is a little far back, but it's not that far back, I suppose.
Q. You're not giving up, are you?
SHANE LOWRY: I'm trying my best. I've enjoying it. I've enjoyed that Claret Jug for the last two years, and I'd dearly love to have it again. If it's not this year, hopefully again down the road. I think I have about 25 or 26 more attempts. I'm not sure between my -- 50 to 60 I'll play much golf, but I'm trying my best this week. Like I said, I'd dearly love to have a chance to win it back.
Look, I think if I can go out on the front nine tomorrow and shoot 3- or 4-under, you never know. It's a funny thing with this game; you just never know.
Q. Rory was critical of the pin positions today. Would you agree with that?
SHANE LOWRY: No, look how benign it is out there. I feel there was a couple -- the pin on 9 was on a little knob. A couple of them were on slopes. I wouldn't be too critical of them. I think they had to try and defend the course somehow.
I think if the pins were easy, people would be shooting the lights out, out there, and then it just becomes like every week, like a shootout. So no, I thought the course was set up great.
Look, I think I would have loved to have seen the course kind of this firm early on in the week, and I would have loved to have seen it drying out to be firmer today and tomorrow, but that's the way it's been.
But yeah, it's been good.
Q. (Question on making the Ryder Cup.)
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I think my performance this year in the majors has been strong enough. Tomorrow is another big day for me, but every day feels like a big day, to be honest. I feel like I'm playing golf not with a lot of pressure on me, but just kind of -- every tournament I go out playing these days, every week you play is a huge event, and you feel like every day is a big day. So tomorrow is no different.
Going out in the final round of The Open, no matter what, look, I've got FedExCup, I've got Race to Dubai, I've got Ryder Cup, obviously, and I've got an Open Championship here to try and get my name in the mix on the back nine tomorrow afternoon.
There's a lot on the line tomorrow, and, yeah, I'm used to it by now, though. Look, I'd love to go out and shoot a good score and kind of not cement my place on the team, not far away if I do that
Q. What happened on Thursday? Did being The Open champion and defending, did that get to you?
SHANE LOWRY: It's just the first hole is a difficult hole. I'm sure I wasn't the only person to bogey it.
I went away from my game plan on the second, hit driver stupidly and made bogey there, and I was quite unnerved. My iron play has been quite good. It's been good most of the year, so I just kind of need to back myself to -- you know, I don't try and overpower golf courses. I never have done. I like playing simple golf. I like putting the ball in position and taking -- like on the second today it was playing really long. I hit 3-iron off the tee and hit 6-iron in to 15 feet. That's kind of the way I like playing golf.
I was probably a little bit unnerved on the first tee on Thursday, but it's a new experience for me, and something that I've really enjoyed this week, I've enjoyed being the defending champion, and hopefully I go out with -- don't go out with a bang. I don't know what to say. Hopefully I go out with -- give it a good go tomorrow and put up a good defense tomorrow.
Q. Will you go out with a target in mind?
SHANE LOWRY: No, you can't. Royal St George's doesn't give you anything, so you need to be careful. If you go out trying to force it and trying to make -- if you go out trying to force it and trying to make birdies, it can really jump up and bite you. It's just going out and sticking to my game plan and going and playing golf and doing what I do best.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports