Clara golfer Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington were in candid form as they gave a joint interview to Paul Kimmage in this week's Sunday Independent. The pair have become firm friends since Lowry turned professional after his shock 2009 win as an amateur at the Irish Open.
The duo share a rapport on and off the course and their latest interview revealed one of the lighter stories from a tough week on the course for Lowry at the Genesis Open. Harrington began to recall a story from their flight to California the night before the tournament where a female passenger was nervously gripping the armrests during a bout of turbulence on-board. As Harrington, the gentleman, tried to calm the white-knuckled woman, Lowry, the joker, spotted his moment to make life awkward for his old pal.
The exchange between the pair during the interview captures it perfectly:
Harrington: We hit some turbulence on the flight down here last night and there was a woman and she was very nervous, gripping the arm rests. So I'm there, making things up and trying to talk her through it.
Lowry (smiles): He was trying to get her to think positively.
Harrington: I spent at least 10 minutes trying to calm her down, saying: "Turbulence has never, ever taken a plane down."
Lowry: And I said: "There's a first time for everything." (They laugh)
Harrington: I wanted to strangle him.
Lowry certainly cut the tension, but it's not like the man who was handing out cans of Guinness to fans at the Phoenix Open just a week earlier to throw in a wise crack, and we can confirm that the mild-mannered Harrington didn't strangle his fellow countryman.
The pair also got serious during their interview, and Harrington suggested that Shane is often too hard on himself for hitting the odd misplaced shot or when he is taken out of his comfort zone. At a recent tournament, the three-time major winner noticed Lowry was visibly frustrated having hit a tee-shot from the right side of the tee-box. Lowry usually prefers to tee-off from the left, but Harrington suggested that Lowry's self-criticism was unconstructive. "In future, if he hits a good drive from the right side, he should tell himself that he 'loves it' and if he hits a bad shot, simply ignore it," Harrington said.
The twice British Open champion also said that having Lowry on the PGA Tour has made his life far more enjoyable. Lowry is someone Harrington socialises with regularly after rounds, and Harrington even said he is unsure if he could tolerate the Tour without the Offaly man.
The bromance between two of Ireland's top golfers is alive and well!