Shane Lowry is hoping his brilliant opening round of 65 at the Players’ Championship on Thursday can set his season alight and inspire a big performance at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.
The Irishman saw his fortunes on the greens take a dramatic upturn following a tip from Graeme McDowell at Sawgrass last week, and he hopes that brilliant seven under par first round is the catalyst for an unforgettable summer.
A strong showing in America this weekend would see Lowry, who won the 2009 Irish Open as an amateur, arrive at The K Club full of confidence and ready to produce his best in front of an adoring home crowd at the K Club next week.
Lowry has missed only two cuts from ten appearances in 2016, with his best performance so far coming at the Phoenix Open, where he tied sixth in February.
An unforgettable hole in one on the par three 16th in the final round of the Masters left Lowry an Augusta memory to savour, but he left the first Major of the season knowing he should have finished higher than 39th place.
With a huge prize fund of €4million, a victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open would reignite Lowry’s Ryder Cup dream and send him into the most important stretch of golf in his career with the confidence and swagger that saw him claim his first World Golf Championship title last summer.
“Next week’s a massive week for me,” said Lowry, who married fiancée Wendy in New York the week after the Masters. “I’d love nothing more than to go back home next week and win the Irish Open. I am very much a confidence player, and rounds like I had on Thursday make me believe more and more that I am close to getting some big results.
Meanwhile Dawson Street is one of Dublin’s most popular bars and the team behind its success will be running the public bar area by the 16th green at The K Club.
That iconic spot on the course will be one of many highlights on offer to spectators during the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, which will boast a huge public village area featuring the Dubai Duty Free Beat the Pro Challenge; Interactive golf zones in partnership with the Bank of Ireland and CGI, the Heineken Sports Bar and the Food Court sponsored by Moy Park.