Short game key to Lowry's Open plan

Shane Lowry at MuirfieldShane Lowry goes through his paces in practice. Picture Fran Caffrey www.golffile.ieShane Lowry reckons his silky short game skills could keep his Claret Jug dreams alive this week.

The Offaly star, 26, tees it up in only his second Open believing he can survive and possibly get into contention.

Lowry said: “I feel like I definitely have one of the best short games out there so there is no reason why I can’t go out there and no matter how I am playing, shoot a decent score.

“It is not about shooting five, six or seven under par this week. It’s about not making mistakes, or limiting your mistakes and making your birdies when you get a chance.

“I am really looking forward to it and I am quite confident but at the same time I need to look forward to just the first tee shot tomorrow morning.”

Rated a 125-1 outsider by the bookies, Lowry knows everything will have to go his way to have a chance.

But he still dreams of lifting that old Claret Jug on Sunday night.

With 18 different players winning the last 20 majors, Lowry said: “At the end of the day, the Open is a golf tournament.

“While the course is a little bit more difficult than what we normally play, there is no reason why we can’t contend.

“If Lady Luck is on your side throughout the week, you never know, you could be only that Jug at the end of the week.

“I am 80-odd in the world and there are 80- lads ahead of me this week. So I am coming in under the radar.

“That’s what I’m used to. I’m never a favourite.”

Whatever happens, Lowry is already a winner this week - and £50 richer thanks to Sergio Garcia.

Lowry beamed: “I plyed with Sergio on the back nine. Great time. Lovely fella. And I managed to take £50 off him as well.”