Shane Lowry is really happy to be back in Dubai. If not for anything else, the warm weather seems to be heating up his dead-cold putter just in time to make a final assault on his good friend Rory McIlroy.
The genial Irishman was a surprise winner of this year’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where his name was etched right underneath McIlroy’s, the winner in 2014.
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And the 28-year-old won’t mind a similar position on the Race to Dubai trophy, which was won by McIlroy last year.
Lowry is fourth in the rankings going into this week’s DP World Tour Championship, and a win on Sunday, coupled with the results of McIlroy and Danny Willett, could make that happen.
Lowry is 702,479 points behind the world No3, and should have closed the gap in Shanghai, but struggled on the greens despite hitting the ball well.
“I feel like I struggled in China,” said Lowry, who finished 68th in the WGC-HSBC Champions and then 56th in the BMW Masters.
“I played okay but struggled on the greens. But I played the pro-am here on Tuesday and I really felt like I was playing well.
“I’m quietly confident I’m playing well enough that if my putter warms up I can definitely give this a run at the weekend. Fingers crossed that happens.
“Putting has been the problem. It’s probably the reason I feel like I didn’t win at the British Masters as well (where he finished second).
“The last six weeks haven’t been great but I like it here. I think the greens are beautiful here and I made quite a few birdies in the pro-am.
“I’m happy the way things are going. I’ve got my coach, Neil (Manchip), here this week with me which is a big help, and he always keeps me in a good frame of mind. I’m looking forward to it.”
Lowry finished fifth at the DP World Tour Championship last year, and eighth in 2011 for two top-10 finishes in three starts and was positively delighted to make the journey from China.
“The atmosphere in China is not great. It’s tough sometimes playing in that atmosphere,” said Lowry, who also revealed his pride at the Republic of Ireland qualifying for Euro 2016 on Tuesday.
“But it’s fine; I’m sure Kristoffer Broberg (winner of BMW Masters last week) is pretty happy with the atmosphere in China. If you play well, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world or what it’s like.
“But it’s nice to be back in Dubai. It’s a lovely place. It’s a great golf course, great weather, great hotels, great food. It’s a great place to be.”
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