Shane Lowry: "When I go home to her and have her in my arms, golf is the last thing on my mind"

The Irish golfer discusses fatherhood and balancing his career with his new family

Shane Lowry

Image: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

Fatherhood suits Shane Lowry.

Perhaps not logistically, what with being away from his family for a couple of weeks at a time, but the character it brings out of him.

As one would expect, he talks about his golf game in a much more analytical manner. Discussion ranges from his short game and to the upcoming Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. His frustrations regarding the game evoke some emotion, but none more so than when he discusses his baby girl, Iris.

"It's hard, the travelling over and back," he says. "It has to be done, it's what I have to do now. I have a wife and a child and now I won't do any more than two weeks away from home, that's kind of my max.

"I'm on that Aer Lingus across the pond an awful lot. It gets very monotonous and I travel on Sundays as I need to get there early to beat the jet lag. It becomes tougher leaving but it has to be done, it's my job and plenty of people have to do it. I don't mind it, but it is tough."

The back and forth is worth it though when he returns home to his family. His game has dipped and peaked so far this season, prompting the question as to whether being away from his family adds more pressure to his performance.

"It definitely doesn't put any pressure on, but it does put things in perspective. No matter what I do I'll always go out to do things as best I can and if I don't I'm going to get annoyed, I'm going to get frustrated.

"I'm going to be down about not playing well but when I go home to her and have her in my arms, golf is the last thing on my mind."

 

Bit of shopping with @wendyirislowry this evening. πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜πŸ‘ΆπŸ» #babylowry

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Iris and wife, Wendy, are both in good health. The birth of his first child has been the peak of a hectic few years for the Clara native.

"It’s mad the way your life changes. My life over the last two years has been a bit of a whirlwind. We bought our first house, moved in, got married and had a baby.

"I’m starting to grow up. Life changes and you just get on with it. We’re very lucky to have Iris at home."

Major Challenges

Since February, Lowry has finished in the top 20 on two occasions and has missed the cut on twice. His form at The Masters this month was evidence that more work needs to be done to consistently challenge at the top. 

To come into this time of the year with turbulent form isn't ideal with upcoming events such as The Players' Championship at Sawgrass and this summer's US Open.

"Golf is a very frustrating game. If you look at Augusta, I played great Thursday and played great on the back nine on Friday.

"The front nine on Friday, I just don’t know what happened. I said it my caddie and coach that I felt I had done everything the exact same way.

"That’s why it’s so frustrating. You have to be so patient. I just have to persevere.

"Some weeks you go in and you don’t feel like you’re playing your best. You feel that if you get off to a decent start and you find something Thursday or Friday, that you can play your way into the tournament.

"There’s certain weeks you go in and you feel the best you’ve ever felt and you miss the cut. I don’t know how to explain it."

Form might not play as big a role in his return to the US Open, following last year's final round at Oakmont. Leading by five strokes on the final day and within 18 holes of a first career major, Lowry was overtaken by Dustin Johnson.

This year, the US Open goes to Erin Hills in Wisconsin and the 30-year-old says that his mindset could play a part in him challenging for a third year in-a-row.

"Oakmont last year is a great example. I remember playing under pressure and I said to my caddie and my coach that nothing else was going to cut it except perfect shots. My focus was on hitting the perfect shot every time.

"I was focused on hitting the target that I hit so many good shots. That’s what a US Open does to me and any player. It makes you go out and feel like you’ve got to hit perfect shots."

A near miss may be good for the Offaly man. A taste at going close may go some way to help him deal with the pressure in the future.

"The US Open is still a tournament I feel like I can win or do well at every time I tee it up."

But for now, the only pressure on Lowry is making it back across the pond to see his family. Regardless of his results, Lowry will always return with a smile on his face.

"When I come in after a tough day and get to see your kids it brightens up your day."

Irish professional golfer Shane Lowry was in Dublin to officially launch the One for Ireland Campaign taking place throughout the May Bank Holiday weekend (Friday 28th April to Monday 1st May). Customers around the country will be asked to add €1 to their bill at the till at retailers nationwide along with restaurants, cafés, hotels, pharmacies and hairdressers to raise money for youth mental health. People can also donate online at www.oneforireland.ie