Shane Lowry plans to go completely mental this week so he can avoid making silly mistakes and lift the Claret Jug at Hoylake.
The Clara ace, 27, had his first bogey free round for six months when he finished tied for fourth in the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen on Sunday.
And while he’s missed eight of 15 cuts so far this year, he loves the Open and reckons he’s ready for that anything Royal Liverpool or the weather can throw at him, providing he gets his mental preparation right.
“Can I win? There’s no reason why not,” Lowry said. “I just need to hole a few putts here and there and see what happens but mentally, I need to try and cut out the silly mistakes.
“You look at my last two tournaments, I made enough birdies to win both but just kind of made a few mental errors here and there.
“I just have to think my way around the golf course a little better.”
Lowry has played in two US Opens and two US PGAs but he feels more at home in a links, as he showed when he shocked the world by winning the Irish Open as an amateur at Baltray in 2009.
Itching to get going, he said: “When I get onto a golf course like this, no matter what tournament it is, I feel comfortable hitting shots and feel comfortable in the surroundings.
“If there’s a bit of a bad weather, I’ll feel comfortable in that too.”
His biggest fear is his own high expectations but he plans to control those with the help of his coach Neil Manchip, who doubles as his mental guru.
Lowry explained: “I feel way more comfortable here than I do at the likes of the US Open but because I’ve played quite well the last couple of weeks it’s important for me not to get too high this week and try too hard.
“My game is good but I’ve got to get out there and try not to put too much pressure on myself.
“Because I’ve been playing well, I’ve been getting texts of people, saying ‘I’m going to back you, you’ve gone in from this price to that price, I think you’re going to do well this week’.
“So I just have to try and put all that out, just simplify everything and try and get on with my own thing.”
He has no plans to give up Twitter and while the golf course is not long, he is not afraid to take on some trouble to give himself birdie chances.
Assessing Hoylake, he said: “It’s no beast or anything. There is a score out there if you play well but if you don’t play well it can jump up and grab you.
“Three of the four par fives were playing quite easy today. So if you make your score there, you can kind of hang on and take your chances everywhere else.”
Set to begin his Open challenge alongside pal Ollie Fisher and American Chesson Hadley at 3.22pm tomorrow, Lowry reckons his late tee time could be a bonus.
“Hopefully that might be a good thing and the wind might die down in the evening for us and we can get the back nine with no wind, maybe,” he said. “That would be nice.”
A win would catapult him into the Ryder Cup reckoning but he insists that Gleneagles in September in not on his radar — yet.
He said: “To be honest, I’ve no ambition about making the Ryder Cup team right now.
“But things could change, in a matter of days. That’s the way golf is.
“I know I’m capable of winning a tournament like this and if I won this week I’d be near enough to making the team. Fingers crossed I give myself this chance.
“I’ve only two big tournaments before the Ryder Cup, this and the US PGA, so you never know.
“I feel like I have the game to win a tournament like this but mentally, I need to get myself in a good place. If I do, I’ve got a chance."