AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – For many Irish golfers there is nothing in the sport that would top winning the British Open in front of a home crowd as Shane Lowry did last year at Royal Portrush.
But the burly, bearded Lowry hinted on Tuesday that there might be something out there that could beat hoisting a Claret Jug – and that would be an Irishman slipping into a Masters green jacket.
“If I could ever top Portrush? If I have a chance, it will be around here,” mused Lowry as he prepared for the opening round of the COVID-19 delayed Masters on Thursday. “Like, to be the first Irishman to ever wear the green jacket would be pretty special.
“That’s probably one of the only things that could top it.
“I think to wear a green jacket would be just very, very special. You know, I think they will be on par.
“We’ll just wait and see.”
While Lowry describes Augusta National as his favourite place in the world to play golf, his Masters results have not reflected that joy.
Lowry has made the cut once in four previous editions of the tournament, finishing in a tie for 39th in 2016.
Last year he opened with an 80 and followed up with a 78 for an early exit.
The 33-year-old, however, arrives at Augusta this year showing improving form, including a confidence boosting 11th place tie at his Masters tune-up last week at the Houston Open.
“Coming back to Augusta, obviously it’s my favourite place in the world to play golf without a doubt, but it’s somewhere I’ve never had much success,” conceded Lowry. “This is my fifth Masters, and I don’t think I’ve ever shot too many great rounds around here.
“I’m hoping the time of year kind of changes my look around here and like probably coming in with a bit more form than I ever really have.”
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Christian Radnedge)