Shane Lowry admits it would take his “about four years” to grow a handlebar moustache to match Padraig Harrington’s amazing Movember growth last year.
But that doesn’t mean he won’t be getting a grip on something just as important to him this winter — his fitness and dedication.
The burly Offaly ace, who’s been getting stick on the range at this week’s Turkish Airlines Open for his fledgling Movember charity ‘tash, plans to get more serious about his fitness this winter.
After suffering a few injury “niggles” this term, the 26 year old wants to avoid the injuries that left super fit Tiger Woods (37) “hobbling around” during the recent Presidents Cup.
Desperate to win a Ryder Cup spot next season, Lowry said: “I have a plan in place for the whole month of December and you will see me coming out in January all guns blazing.
“I get questioned quite a lot, my fitness so I’ll do a little bit on that and just be more disciplined this year than I have been in previous years.
“I have come out every January and been a bit sluggish and not playing as well as I probably should be. It just feel like I need to do something this year.
“I mightn’t get the results in January that I want but I just have to keep at it and the results will come eventually.”
The Clara man is not looking for six-pack abs to match gym junkies Woods and Rory McIlroy but just enough fitness to avoid chronic injuries down the line.
Shane said: “Since the Tiger Woods era everyone’s gone crazy on the whole gym thing and it’s something that I had never really bought into that much.
“I got a couple of niggles in my hip this year and I feel like I need to do a little bit just to keep those niggles away. Because if I’m getting those niggles when I’m 26, what am I going to be like when I’m 36, or 46?
“So I feel I just need to deal with that, more so extending and prolonging my career than anything else.
“I think Tiger Woods is probably nearly one of the most injured golfers on tour and you see him at the Presidents Cup not too long ago, hobbling around the place, and he’s probably the fittest guy out there.
“So I don’t think it’s all got to do with that, I’ve never thought that way and I’m not going to start now.”
Hoping to beat Woods to his first victory of the year in this week’s $7m Turkish Airlines Open, the world No 72 then heads to the DP World Tour Championship before teaming up with Graeme McDowell in the World Cup in Melbourne.
Three good weeks could see him make the world’s Top 50 and earn a Masters debut by Christmas.
As for his moustache, he’s supporting Movember’s drive to raise funds for men’s health issues by donating €100 for every birdie and €500 for every eagle he makes this month. To sponsor Shane, click www.mobro.co/shanelowrygolf).
On his ‘tash, he joked: “I ‘m getting quite a bit of stick about it. I’m lucky it’s not windy over here at the moment because a good gust of wind would blow it away.
“Harrington’s handlebar? It would take me about four years to grow that!”
Lowry is still searching for his first win of the season but he’s still more than pleased with a campaign in which his missed cut on his title defence in the Portugal Masters was his first since he failed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in January.
“Portugal was a bit disappointing,” he said. “I felt like I played some good golf after a week off at home. Came out of China and I was playing okay and shot six over in the first round.
“I felt the way I bounced back form that, a couple of years ago I would have settled for a €20,000 down in 50th or 60th. But I had a bit of fight in me there and showed really what I am made of.”
Lowry was one of more than 25 players in the TOp 60 in the Race to Dubai who failed to qualify for the WGC-HSBC Champions last week. And believes the set up of the Final Series, which has been criticised by the likes of Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els because it obliges you to play two of the three events to be elibigle for the 60-man DP World Tour Championship, needs to be tweaked.
That’s a tough one to comment on because it is a world event,” Lowry said of the suitability of having a WGC in he final series. “Maybe it should be at a different time of year and shouldn’t be included in the final four.
“I think that anyone who is in at least the top 30 or 40 in the R2D should be able to play in the final four series. If you are 30th in the Race to Dubai, you should have a chance to win the Race to Dubai, if you have four good weeks.
“If you are 30th in the FedEx Cup with four to go you have a great chance. This is the first year of it and I think the FedEx Cup didn’t work well the first year so there might be a few things that need to be changed. It is not for me to decide.”
Lowry’s biggest regret this season is that he failed to turn a brilliant performance in the Alfred Dunhill Links into a win. But he still takes huge positives from his third place finish there.
“I feel like it’s hindered me in a way at times,” he said of his more ambitious mindset these days. “I feel like I’m going into tournaments now looking to win as opposed to making cuts and having decent finishes. I definitely went to the Dunhill that week knowing that if I played decent golf, I’d a chance of winning.
“I gave myself that chance and didn’t do it so, yeah, my mindset definitely is different going into tournaments. It shows where I’ve come from and how all the work I’ve done over the last few years is paying off when I go into tournaments like that thinking I can win them.”
Winning in Turkey this week would be the biggest victory of his career, even if it does mean having to beat Woods on the Montgomerie Maxx course in Belek this week.
“The aura and the buzz about the place when Tiger’s here is a bit different than normal and it’s exciting having him playing,” Lowry said. “Hopefully, I’m playing with him on Sunday but it doesn’t matter who I’m playing with as long as I’m playing late.”
“I like the course. I think when everyone in Ireland hears about the Monty course they think of Carton House and this is probably the complete opposite. It’s tree-lined and quite narrow in places.
“It’s quite a decent course and I think the scoring’s going to be quite good on it. The greens are soft and good and the only thing is they’ll probably hide a few pins, there’s a lot of funky greens, which is probably the main difficulty this course is going to throw up this week.
“It is narrow off the tee but in places it’s quite generous and the par-fives are quite generous so I think it’s going to be quite good.”