After getting "the nod" from Phil, Lowry keen to shine again

Shane Lowry got the nod from Phil Mickelson this week and beamed: Now I know I belong.

Now the new world No 19 is determined to prove he’s here to stay following his breakthrough win in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

And after getting congratulations from players all week at the US PGA, it was a simple nod of the head from Lefty that meant most to the Clara ace.

Lowry said: “I’ve been getting handshakes and pats on the back all week but when Phil walks past you and gives you the nod, it’s pretty nice. 

“When people like that congratulate you, it means a lot.”

After his win at Firestone, Lowry has finally broken in the big time in the US and he wants to make sure he’s doesn’t become a one hit wonder

That’s why he’s gunning for another big week at Whistling Straits and hoping to mark the start of his new career with a top result. 

Still pinching himself after Sunday’s breakthrough, Lowry said: “It’s great to wake up in the morning and think to yourself, ‘Yeah, that was cool.’

“But I am just trying my best to get back out there and try and do it again. This is a massive week and I’d like to do well. 

“I am not here just to try and enjoy myself and take the pats on the back. I’m trying to leave my thoughts of my win last week behind me and maybe think about it next week when I get home.”

Lowry is heading off on a week’s holiday next week but promised to have “a few shandies” with pals when he gets back on Monday.

But first he’s got work to do and having secured his PGA Tour card and soared into the world’s Top 20, he’s setting his sights on a new life in the big leagues.

He said: “I don’t know how I am going to do this week but I am obviously playing all right and with a  bit of confidence. 

“I had high expectations going into the Open at St Andrews and didn’t handle it too well so hopefully I can build on last week and think I am going to give myself a chance to do well on Sunday.

“I think the win in Firestone is going to kick start the rest of my career, playing more over here and trying to compete week in week out in the bigger events. 

“It would be nice to give myself a run this week and say to everyone — This lad’s here to stay and he’s not going to go away for a while.”

Lowry goes off with Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger and former US Open champion Webb Simpson at 6.40pm Irish time today.