Shane Lowry can expect a fine of around $5,000 from the PGA Tour for his F-bomb splashdown at the Honda Classic on Sunday night.
But if all goes to plan this week, it’s not a fine for blue language but big pile of greenbacks that lies in store if the can conquer the Blue Monster and pocket the $1.62m on offer to the winner of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
The Offaly star (28) admitted that his Twitter feed “lit up” on Sunday after the NBC broadcast began with him berating himself by shouting “you f*****g idiot” after his seven iron tee shot at the par-three 15th headed towards the lake. As it descended he added another "f**k": un case we missed the first one.
He wasn't particularly contrite, tweeting: “So I said a bad word.... Shoot me!”, will not have made the PGA Tour less likely to impose one of their usual hefty fines.
The world No 23 might well have wondered why his playing partner, Smylie Kaufman, appeared to get little social media flak for snapping his seven-iron over his knee after hitting his tee shot in the water just moments earlier.
Whatever the financial implications, it’s not the first time that Lowry has raised eyebrows for his colourful use of the English language.
When he won the 2009 Irish Open win as an amateur, the tension was such in the back nine that he delivered a few well chosen pearls to the boom mics, prompting David Garland, the European Tour’s director of operations, to as the Clara man’s manager to pass on some friendly advice.
“I spoke to Conor Ridge at Horizon and asked him to advise Shane of the presence of boom mikes on the golf course at tournament,” Garland confirmed at the time.
Lowry wore the same sheepish look he displayed on Sunday when he turned up at Trump National Doral on Monday to do a photoshoot for one of his sponsors.
But having finished tied 53rd at PGA National, he’s determined to conserve energy and put in a good performance around the Blue Monster in a no-cut World Golf Championship event that offers huge world ranking (and Ryder Cup qualifying) points.
“I said to (caddie) Dermo, we won’t have any trouble sleeping next Sunday night after four rounds on this course and four rounds at Doral,” Lowry said of the challenge of his high profile schedule.
“Mentally you just have to be rested,” he said of the challenge of playing a big event every time he tees it up. "Doral is just brutally tough as well. I suppose the golf course is scoreable but you really need to have your game and miss it in the right spots.”
The big winner at the Honda Classic were Adam Scott, whose first win with a conventional putter for more than five years catapulted him to ninth in the world and reminded everyone that he’s another threat to Rory McIlroy’s hopes of completing the career Grand Slam at the Masters
The other winner was Graeme McDowell, who finished a fine solo fifth to remain in the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings, thus qualifying for this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship.
At 73rd in the world,the Ulsterman knew he had to perform and make it to Miami to have any chance of securing his place in the top 64 in the world who will play the WGC-Dell Match Play in Texas a fortnight before Augusta.
As it turned out, his fifth place finish catapulted him 18 places up the standings to 55th in the world
But he’s not getting ahead of himself as he bids to return to golf’s top table despite hailing Sunday’s result as “huge” for his career.
“For me at the minute it means allowing myself the time to find my way back into leaderboards and the upper echelons of the game again," McDowell said. "It is not going to happen overnight.
“It will require a lot of grinding and maybe some mistakes but if I can keep doing what I am doing in practice, it can only start to feed onto the golf course again. I guess I am just giving myself time to let that happen.
“A course like this, and Doral, and Tampa, and Bay Hill, those are courses that don’t let you get ahead of yourself. Courses where a 63 is the going rate is not my kind of game. I like a course like this where I can shoot five or six under — for the week.”