'The one that got away' - Shane Lowry reflects on bittersweet RBC Heritage display
Shane Lowry has said he is "naturally disappointed but happy and proud" about his third-place finish at the RBC Heritage event on the PGA Tour event over the weekend.
Writing in his new role as golf ambassador for Paddy Power, the Clara man said: "I really feel like it's one that got away. I feel like I had it for the taking but it was just tricky down the stretch and it's just hard to get the job done when you've so many guys coming at you. C.T. Pan was probably the last guy you would've picked to come through."
"I made two bad mistakes but other than that I feel like I played great all day. I'm disappointed but overall, happy with the result," he said.
"The course did play tough. It was a lot firmer yesterday and a little bit faster. The wind wasn't as strong as it had been but it was still strong enough. It is a tough tricky golf course though. They're small greens as well so it's hard to hit them and if you don't quite have your game it's easy to make bogeys."
"If you looked at the scoreboard early on there was a load of guys within two or three shots of the lead and then lads start to dwindle away. I only noticed that around the middle of the back nine where Dustin (Johnson) and Poulter (Ian) were gone and there was only maybe a couple of lads that could've won it from there."
"I got a new putter last week and I just liked it and I felt I putted quite well all tournament. Obviously the one on the ninth hole was just a serious lapse of concentration. That one was a bit of a killer, yet I still thought I was fine and in a good position heading into the back nine."
"Overall throughout the week I did putt quite well and holed some nice putts; a couple of long ones as well. Even the one on the 14th after making double bogey on the 12th it was nice to hold that one to give myself a chance with a few holes to go."
Shane continued: "Some weeks it's better than others. Last week mentally I was in a good place and any time I hit a bad shot or ended up in a bad position I snapped out of it fairly quickly. I just seemed to be mentally very switched on. When I'm playing a difficult golf course I find it easier to take the rough with the smooth."
"It's funny, I felt so relaxed and comfortable all week. After the Masters, I wasn't really pushed on playing last week and I kind of said it was a nice place to go with Wendy and Iris and we'd go down and have a bit of a holiday and play a bit of golf and see what happens."
"Maybe that's the way to approach it for me. It was a bit more relaxed and less trying to force it to do well, whereas the week before you're putting in extra practice and you feel like you're doing everything right to try and perform your best. At the RBC, it was a bit more relaxed and a bit easier to get into just playing freely and not worrying, like in Augusta, about making mistakes. It's something that I can learn from as well and use in the future," the Clara native revealed.
"I look at the leaderboards all the time, wherever they are on the course. It's funny, there wasn't that many of them on the course last week and I didn't really know where I stood playing the 17th and then I heard bad groans from the 18th and I was sure that C.T. Pan was after bogeying the last so I thought if I birdied 17 or 18 I'd get into a playoff but then when I walked off the 18th I saw he was on 12 under so I knew I was done then."
"I didn't even know I had to hole my second shot on the 18th but sure I was trying to hit the flag and make birdie anyway so it made no difference."
He has spoken of his satisfaction that he is now on an upward curve after winning early in the season and securing his best PGA finish of the season at the RBC Heritage.
"Abu Dhabi isn't that long ago but it is quite a while at the same time in golfing terms as it's eight tournaments ago. In the first nine tournaments of the year, I've won one and I've given myself a great chance and finished third in another one."
"Yea, I've missed a few cuts and haven't done that well but I think if someone was to tell me that at the start of the year I probably would've taken it."
"I always say, you'd nearly rather missed cuts and have a really good week rather than make every cut and have average weeks. It's a funny game like that, golf. If you throw a really good week in now and then, it's a lot better than playing consistently rather than finishing 15th every week."
"You'll never remember the tournament you finished 12th in and in a few years, I won't even remember finishing third there in the RBC. You can only really remember the tournaments you win. You're better off being a bit more inconsistent but when you're on, you're on."
You can see more of Lowry's insights into his game and the sport generally by following his musings on the Paddy Power website here.