Shane Lowry is the new touring professional for Carton House in County Kildare. The Clara man now lives on the estate.Shane Lowry believes he can become a European Tour heavy hitter without joining the pumping iron brigade.
The 16-stone sweet swinger from Offaly has piled up €1.7m in tour earnings since he memorably captured the Irish Open as an amateur just over two and a half years ago.
But as he prepares to start his season in Abu Dhabi next week as the new touring professional for Carton House, the 24-year old from Clara insists he doesn’t need to become a gym rat to secure that elusive second win and a place in the world’s elite.
Believing his no-nonsense, natural style works best for him, world No 125 Lowry said: “I’m definitely not the fittest fella out there but for what I do, I think I can play four weeks in a row and be all right on a Sunday in the fourth week.
“That’s why I’m comfortable in myself and I don’t want to make any major changes.
“I’m happy with what I’m doing and just because X, Y and Z are going to the gym ten times a week, that doesn’t mean I have to.
“I think it’s just something that Tiger started and everyone is on the bandwagon now, but I don’t feel that it’s something I have to do.
“OK I still do a little bit - it’s not like I go home and sit on the couch every evening.
“I might do it down the line but I’m definitely not doing it now and I don’t see why I should do it just because everyone else is.
“Just because a fella goes and does an hour on the treadmill and lifts weights doesn’t mean he can hit the ball in the hole from six feet.”
Twelve months ago Lowry was sitting on his couch nursing a fractured wrist which kept him out of action for 10 weeks.
But he eventually made up for lost time with a stunning fourth place finish behind Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, the top two players in the world, in the BMW PGA at Wentworth.
That gave him a huge boost of confidence for the rest of the year and while his putter went cold in the summer he finished the season brilliantly with top-10 finishes in Valderrama, Japan and the season-ending Dubai World Championship.
The cagey Clara man is too clever to pile pressure on himself by revealing his goals for 2012.
But he makes no secret of the fact that he wants to win again and improve on a 41st place finish in last year’s Race to Dubai that earned him a cool €764,778.
Confident his day will come sooner rather than later, Lowry said: “I don’t think I’ve anything to prove at all. It’s not easy to win. The standard is so good.
“You might play your best golf and get someone else on better form than you. Look at Wentworth this year.
“Luke Donald and Westwood and Simon Dyson were the three players ahead of me. On another week Donald and Westwood wouldn’t have been playing because they don’t play every week.
“I finished fourth in Abu Dhabi two years ago. The three players that finished ahead of me were in the top ten in the world. On another week that they’re not playing, I would have won the tournament.”
Lowry will have to qualify for the majors this year but if he gets into the Open, he’ll fancy his chances at Royal Lytham and St Annes, where he has two third-place finishes as an amateur.
And he’ll also be a hot tip for the Irish Open when it goes to Royal Portrush in June having won the North of Ireland amateur there in 2008 and reached the final the previous year.
Recalling his historic Irish Open win at Baltray, he said: “I’m keen to get another win to get that out of the memory of everyone. Not that I’m sick talking about it, because I’m probably going to be talking about it for the rest of my life,
“But it happened a while ago and it was great and I’ll always remember it forever. It was probably the best thing that ever happened me, bar winning a Major.”
The Irish Open will be played at Carton House next year and it could happen in his front garden now that he’s moved into a spacious home overlooking the O’Meara course - part of .
Living just a long par-five away from the superb GUI Academy, he reckons his game can only improve now with coach Neil Manchip based in nearby Dunboyne.
He said: “As a professional golfer living in Ireland there’s no better place to be. The facilities are top class here. I don’t think there are better facilities in Ireland, apart from Rory’s (McIlroy’s) house maybe…
“So, it’s a perfect place for me to live and practice and it’s close to the airport and close to home as well.”
Comparison’s with McIlroy are always going to hurt Lowry but while he’s close pals with his Horizon Sports Management stablemate, he tries hard not to put him on a pedestal.
Prepared to wait for his time, he said: “A lot of people see the younger players like Rory or Matteo Manassero. But not all young players are going to do that well when they’re younger and I’m only 24.
“How long did it take Pádraig to do what he did? It is all a learning curve and two, three, four years down the line I feel I can be up in the world rankings.”
Confessing that his mental game needs work, he said: “I try too hard to do well and the biggest pressure on me is from myself. That’s probably the way with most professional golfers.
“I feel no matter how well I do that I should be doing better. A good season last year but it could have been better, that’s the way I am and there is nothing I can do except work hard and try to make this season better than last season.”