Shane Lowry would love to defend his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational title but his priority is to get win over the next four weeks that would make Ryder Cup talk and decisions on going Akron or the Open de France a bit more relevant.
The Clara star knows he’s well off the pace in the race to make Darren Clarke’s European team but while there are no qualifying points on offer in Akron in August, the world No 33 wants to be there rather than the Open de France.
If that’s to happen, he’ll need to be out of the running for Hazeltine or have his Ryder Cup place all but wrapped up by then.
And he’s confident it can be the latter if he can turn some good sensations into a win or two over the next month as he heads from the next week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow to The Players at Sawgrass before heading home for the Irish Open and the BMW PGA at Wentworth.
Confident he can turn an “average” season around, Lowry said: “f you look at it, I am a long way outside the Ryder Cup team. I need to win pretty soon to put that [into focus…..] Honestly, I am just going out to play as well as I can and try and win the tournament that’s in front of me. I am not thinking of anything in August or September or anything like that.
"I am trying my best to move up the world rankings, up the FedEx Cup and up the Race to Dubai. I have gone out every week and given it my best this year. I have only missed one cut, which is not that bad. I have just had a lot of 40th and 50th places, which is not great.
"When you are making cuts, you need to be finishing up there. You are nearly wasting your time if you are finishing 50th and 60th."
Asked what was wrong, he said: “I have just been trying a bit too hard at times and letting bad shots affect me quite a lot and it all comes down to holing a few putts.
“I suppose patience is key and I haven’t been patient enough this year. So the next four weeks are huge.
“I feel like I am playing nicely. I got myself up there in Augusta for a while although it wasn’t to be at the weekend, I will learn from experiences like that.
“There is potential there for the rest of the year so I wouldn’t be counting myself out of anything yet.”
Before heading off to The K Club for a practice round yesterday, Lowry weighed in on Rory McIlroy’s announcement decision to play the Open de France rather than the clashing, non-European Tour sanctioned Bridgestone Invitational where there will be no Ryder Cup qualifying points on offer.
Lowry said: “I really want to defend the Bridgestone so it is just a call I am going to have to make nearer the time.
“Rory coming out and saying that yesterday didn’t do me any favours. That’s what he wants to do.
“It is going to be very hard not to go and defend the Bridgestone. It is such a big event, such a prestigious event.
“So while I know the European Tour are very keen on all of us not playing the Bridgestone, I have to do what is right for me at the end of the day.”
Lowry sees the Irish Open and the BMW PGA as keys to his season, which is fair since the three of the six biggest weeks of his career in terms of world ranking points occurred in the month of May
“I’ve played some of the best golf of my career at this time of the year and I feel that around Wentworth is my time to get going," he said.
”Wentworth is a massive week on the European Tour but there is nothing I would love more than to do well in the Irish Open and try and contend.”
Lowry was speaking at the launch of the One for Ireland campaign in aid of youth homelessness, co-ordinated by the Irish Youth Foundation.
This Friday, customers will be asked to add €1 to their bill when paying at the till at SPAR, XL, Londis, Mace, EUROSPAR, Applegreen, Fresh, and Starbucks outlets, along with many independent stores to help the 1,800 homeless children living in Ireland today.
You can also donate by texting “One” to 50300 or visit www.oneforireland.ie.
Lowry said: “My manager Conor Ridge mentioned it to me because he has a big interest in homelessness in Ireland. I think it is a great idea — everybody giving one euro is not a lot out of people’s pockets.
"If you ask people to give something more, it might be a bit difficult. So this way they can reach their target and I think it’s a great idea. I am very fortunate with my upbringing and what I have done with my life and there are a lot of people less fortunate than myself and yourselves that need some help and support.
"It is important for everyone to get out and support them on FridayI"