Shane Lowry is trying hard to avoid dwelling on his momentous 2019 as he bids to finish his European Tour season on a high at the DP World Tour Championship.
Lowry began the year in style when he landed his first Rolex Series title in Abu Dhabi, but he surpassed that achievement in July as he stormed to a maiden major victory with a six-shot triumph in The Open at Royal Portrush.
The popular Irishman begins the season finale in Dubai with an outside chance of pipping Bernd Wiesberger to the Race to Dubai crown, but Lowry is not looking too far ahead as he stays focused on the job in hand this week.
“Obviously I would have taken your hand off for what I’ve done this year, it’s been incredible,” he said. “Not that I didn’t ever think that I could do something like I did. I suppose the big thing is Portrush, and to be able to achieve something like that is just amazing and it’s like a dream come true, really.
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“But the thing is that I try not to let myself think about it too much and try not to dwell on that. When this week finishes, I’ll be able to sit back next week with my Claret Jug and be happy with what I have. But I’m trying to do as well as I can this week.
“The one thing that’s got me over the few months since The Open is, when you have bad days and you’re shooting bad scores, people saying to you, ‘You won The Open, it doesn’t matter.’ But it does matter. Every day it matters to me and I want to shoot the best score I can and I want to be the best player I can be every day.
“I’m going to go out and give my best this week and no matter what happens, I will be sitting back next week with a major trophy in my cabinet this year, and I’ll be happy with what I have. But it would be incredible to add European No 1 to that list, as well.
“I’m just trying to focus solely on playing well this week and trying to give myself the best chance towards the end of the week to have a chance to win. But obviously there are some very good players up there and I think it’s going to be quite difficult to do.
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“It’s a world-class field here this week. Obviously it’s been a great year but my main focus right now is the next few days, and Thursday through Sunday trying to shoot the best scores I can.”
Meanwhile, Tommy Fleetwood’s first victory in 22 months at the Nedbank Golf Challenge last week has lifted him to second in the Race to Dubai standings, although he remains over 800 points behind Wiesberger heading into the final 72 holes of the season.
But the Englishman is looking forward to going head-to-head against the Austrian in Dubai, and he will be drawing on his experience of being in contention to end the year as European No 1 for the third time, having lifted the Harry Vardon Trophy two years ago.
“I consider myself lucky that I have got a lot of experience,” said Fleetwood. “This is my third year in a row where I’m one of those players that has a chance to win The Race to Dubai, so it’s very special.
“There’s only a certain number of people that have The Race to Dubai on their resume. I’m lucky to be one of them and I think it’s one of my greatest achievements and I think I have experienced both sides.
“Obviously in 2017 when I won, I led it for such a long time. In 2018, I set out and it was never a goal at the start of the year to win The Race to Dubai and all of a sudden just because it was a possibility it became something that really hurt when I didn’t, but realistically, I had not thought about it all year until sort of the last few events that I had a chance.