Nicklaus backs Lowry: “Shane’s got to learn from it. He is a good player"

Nicklaus backs Lowry: “Shane’s got to learn from it. He is a good player"
 Shane Lowry after making par on the first hole during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. on Sunday, June 19, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Darren Carroll)

Shane Lowry after making par on the first hole during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. on Sunday, June 19, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Darren Carroll)

Jack Nicklaus is convinced that Shane Lowry will learn from his US Open disappointment - just as Rory McIlroy learned from losing the Masters in 2011.

The Golden Bear was at Royal Dublin with McIlroy and Lowry on Monday as part of a corporate day and just as McIlroy always said that the Masters meltdown of 2011 was the most important day of his career, Sunday’s reverse can also be a positive for Lowry.

When he was giving a clinic on the range with McIlroy, the 18-time maior winner gave his opinion on what it means to learn from your defeats as well as your victories.

Having also finished second in majors 19 times, not to mention his nine thirds, Nicklaus said: “Shane’s got to learn from it. He is a good player. There is no question that he is a good player and has already won in the United States winning at Firestone last year. 

“It isn’t a question that he doesn’t know how to win. It’s just how you apply what happened to you. How do you apply it for the next time you are in a similar situation?”

Looking at McIlroy, Nicklaus said: “You ask yourself, what did you do? What cost you? I remember Rory came off after the Masters in 2011 and he had shot 80, isn’t that right? And I saw Rory and I said, ‘Did you learn anything? Right?’

“And he said, ‘I think so.’ He was getting ready to go to the US Open. And so I said, well if you learned something, apply it to your next situation and he won it by nine shots or something. Eight shots.

“So Rory wins by eight shots and I said to him, ‘You learned something from the Masters. Did you learn something from what you did at the US Open?’

“So you learn from your mistakes but you have also got to learn when you play well. You have to learn both ways. And if you learn from what you do both ways. Then you can carry that forward. So Shane’s got to learn from that.”

Like Lowry, McIlroy had a four-shot lead heading into the final round but collapsed to an 80 to finish tied 15th.

"I learned so much about myself and what I needed to do the next time I got into that position," he said.

"If I had not had the whole unravelling, if I had just made a couple of bogeys coming down the stretch and lost by one, I would not have learned as much.

"Luckily, it did not take me long to get into a position like that again when I was leading a major and I was able to get over the line quite comfortably.

"It was a huge learning curve for me and I needed it, and thankfully I have been able to move on to bigger and better things.”