(Reuters) – British Open champion Shane Lowry says becoming a major winner will count for nothing when he steps onto the first tee in his first tournament back since last month’s Royal Portrush triumph.
“Obviously I won The Open and I’m a major champion but that doesn’t give me the God-given right to go out and shoot 65 tomorrow,” the Irishman, who will make his first career PGA Tour playoffs start at the Northern Trust Open in Jersey City, told reporters on Wednesday.
“I still have to go out there and do my own thing, play my own game and see where it leaves me.”
The 32-year-old from Clara said he had been embraced like never before back home and hoped his success would encourage the next generation to pick up a club.
“The support I’ve got back home has just been incredible,” he said.
“Hopefully I can move forward and become more successful and make kids want to start playing golf too.”
As an added bonus, he said, he was no longer being mistaken for fellow players Andrew “Beef” Johnston or J.B. Holmes, who also sport beards.
“I’m definitely more recognized now and even coming over here to events … it makes you feel more comfortable,” he said.
“They’re not calling me Beef or they’re not calling me J.B. Holmes out there, anyway. That’s a plus.”
(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Rutherford)