Shane Lowry has urged Ireland’s three-man team to embrace playing at home and come out all guns blazing for Eisenhower Trophy gold at Carton House.
The Offaly star (31) walked 18 holes on the O’Meara Course with Tramore’s Robin Dawson, Kinsale’s John Murphy and Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell as they bid to become the first Irish team to win the World Amateur Team Championship.
The trio will get the action underway from the 11th tee on the Montgomerie Course from 7:56 am today when they peg it up with the USA and defending champions Australia.
And given their talent and the fact that they know both courses better than the other 71 nations taking part, Lowry sees no reason why they can’t challenge for the ultimate prize after Ireland broke the mould by claiming a first-ever bronze in Mexico two years ago.
Far from shying away from the pressure of playing at home, he sees it as something to be used to their advantage.
“I was very fortunate to be able to play a tournament like the Irish Open on my home course when I live here at Carton, and that was the one thing I used to my advantage that week,” said Lowry, who won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009 and was fifth behind Paul Casey when the event was held at Carton House in 2013.
“I think that's the way the Irish guys should be looking at it. People will be saying there's added pressure, but in a way, I think playing a tournament on your home course is more of a benefit than anything.
“I think they should try to flip it around and use it as a positive rather than a negative.”
Lowry enjoyed his day out with the lads, even getting involved in the banter when Murphy was forced to do press-ups for hitting the shortest drive on the eighth.
The three-time European Tour winner was impressed by what he saw from all three and reckons they have a great chance in a 72-hole strokeplay event where the best two scores count towards the team total each day.
“They have a great opportunity this week because they are a good team and knowing the course is huge,” Lowry said of what's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win an Eisenhower Trophy on home soil. “If they can get themselves into some sort of contention, having home advantage might give them a chance."
The field features 17 of the world’s top 25 with the USA boasting world number two Justin Suh, world number three Collin Morikawa and US Amateur semi-finalist Cole Hammer.
Hammer (18) played in the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay, and while he has just signed for the University of Texas, he has been accompanied to Kildare by Birr’s Richie Coughlan, now an assistant coach for the "Longhorns" at their Austin base.
US Amateur champion Vikor Hovland from Norway and South Africa’s Jovan Rebula, who beat Dawson in the Amateur Championship final, are also in the world-class field.
World Amateur Team Championship
31st Eisenhower Trophy, Carton House Golf Club, Montgomerie & O'Meara Course
[Tee 1 - Montgomerie Course]
1 / 7:45 Ivan Camilo Ramirez Velandia (COL), Adrien Dumont De Chassart (BEL), Gisli Sveinbergsson (ICE),
2 / 7:56 Esteban Restrepo (COL), Alan De Bondt (BEL), Aron Snaer Juliusson (ICE),
3 / 8:07 Carlos Ardila (COL), Jean De Wouters D'oplinter (BEL), Bjarki Petursson (ICE),
4 / 8:18 Hoyoung Choi (KOR), Luis Gagne (CRC), Vitor Lopes (POR),
5 / 8:29 Seungbo Jang (KOR), Paul Chaplet (CRC), Afonso Girao (POR),
6 / 8:40 Seungtaek Oh (KOR), Alvaro Ortiz (CRC), Pedro Lencart (POR),
7 / 8:51 Enrique Jose Valverde (DOM), Redge Camacho (GUM), Carl Hellat (EST),
8 / 9:02 Rhadames Pena (DOM), Robert Manalo (GUM), Kevin Christopher Jegers (EST),
9 / 9:13 Juan Guerra (DOM), Daryl Poe (GUM), Joonas Turba (EST),
[11th tee Montgomerie]
10 / 7:56 John Murphy (IRE), Min Woo Lee (AUS), Collin Morikawa (USA),
11 / 8:07 Conor Purcell (IRE), David Micheluzzi (AUS), Justin Suh (USA),
12 / 8:18 Robin Dawson (IRE), Shae Wools-Cobb (AUS), Cole Hammer (USA),
13 / 8:29 John Axelsen (DEN), Hugo Bernard (CAN), Marc Hammer (GER),
14 / 8:40 Nicolai Hojgaard (DEN), Garrett Rank (CAN), Hurly Long (GER),
15 / 8:51 Rasmus Hojgaard (DEN), Joey Savoie (CAN), Allen John (GER),
16 / 9:02 Othman Almulla (KSA), Michal Brezovsky (SVK), Jeronimo Esteve (PUR),
17 / 9:13 Ali Alsakha (KSA), Pavol Mach (SVK), Max Alverio (PUR),
18 / 9:24 Khalid Attieh (KSA), Branislav Lucansky (SVK), Erick Morales (PUR),
[Tee 1 - Montgomerie Course]
19 / 12:15 Raul Pereda (MEX), Veeti Mahonen (FIN), Matt Saulez (RSA),
20 / 12:26 Aaron Terrazas (MEX), Matias Honkala (FIN), Wilco Nienaber (RSA),
21 / 12:37 Alvaro Ortiz Becerra (MEX), Sami Valimaki (FIN), Jovan Rebula (RSA),
22 / 12:48 Dane Cvetkovic (SRB), Ayoub Id Omar (MAR), Alejandro Villavicencio Calderon (GUA),
23 / 12:59 Mihailo Dimitrijevic (SRB), Othman Raouzi (MAR), Pablo Enrique Castellanos Conde (GUA),
24 / 1:10 Branimir Gudelj (SRB), Soufiane Dahmane (MAR), Daniel Jonas Gurtner Morales (GUA),
25 / 1:21 Joshua Ho (SGP), Maximilian Steinlechner (AUT), Ryan Lumsden (SCO),
26 / 1:32 Donovan Lee (SGP), Niklas Regner (AUT), Sandy Scott (SCO),
27 / 1:43 Gregory Foo (SGP), Lukas Lipold (AUT), Euan Walker (SCO),
[Tee 11 - Montgomerie Course]
28 / 12:26 Takumi Kanaya (JPN), Santiago Zubiate (PER), Giovanni Manzoni (ITA),
29 / 12:37 Keita Nakajima (JPN), Patricio Freundt-Thurne (PER), Stefano Mazzoli (ITA),
30 / 12:48 Daiki Imano (JPN), Luis Fernando Barco (PER), Lorenzo Filippo Scalise (ITA),
31 / 12:59 Miguel Reyes (URU), Philipp Pakosch (POL), Hamza Esmer (TUR),
32 / 1:10 Nicholas Teuten (URU), Alejandro Pedryc (POL), Taner Yamac (TUR),
33 / 1:21 Facundo Alvarez (URU), Jan Szmidt (POL), Leon Kerem Acikalin (TUR),
34 / 1:32 Jeremy Gandon (FRA), Gabriel Morgan Birke (CHI), Wei-Hsuan Wang (TPE),
35 / 1:43 Frederic Lacroix (FRA), Agustin Errazuriz (CHI), Chia-i Lai (TPE),
36 / 1:54 Victor Veyret (FRA), Tomas Gana (CHI), Yu-cheng Ho (TPE),
[Tee 1 - O'Meara Course]
37 / 7:45 Kshitij Naveed Kaul (IND), Daniel Kenji Ishii (BRA), Jerry Ji (NED),
38 / 7:56 Aadil Bedi (IND), Lucas Park (BRA), Stan Kraai (NED),
39 / 8:07 Rayhan John Thomas (IND), Herik Machado (BRA), Nordin Van Tilburg (NED),
40 / 8:18 Mark Trnovec (SLO), Jack Allard (ZIM), Andres Schonbaum (ARG),
41 / 8:29 Vid Potocar (SLO), David Amm (ZIM), Mateo Fernandez De Oliveira (ARG),
42 / 8:40kristjan Vojteh Burkelca (SLO), Stuart Krog (ZIM), Martin Contini (ARG),
43 / 8:51 Gian Marco Petrozzi (ENG), Yilong Chen (CHN), Viktor Hovland (NOR),
44 / 9:02 Mitchell Waite (ENG), Enqi Liang (CHN), Kristoffer Reitan (NOR),
45 / 9:13 Matthew Jordan (ENG), Huachuang Zhang (CHN), Jarle Volden (NOR),
Tee 10 - O'Meara Course
46 / 7:45 Kosuke Hamamoto (THA), Tim Widing (SWE), Victor Pastor (ESP),
47 / 7:56 Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA), Oliver Gillberg (SWE), Alejandro Del Rey (ESP),
48 / 8:07 Witchayanon Chothirunrungrueng (THA), Fredrik Nilehn (SWE), Angel Hidalgo (ESP),
49 / 8:18 Ben Chamberlain (WAL), Jiri Zuska (CZE), Matthew Cheung (HKG),
50 / 8:29 Jake Hapgood (WAL), Petr Hruby (CZE), Leon Philip D'souza (HKG),
51 / 8:40 Tom Williams (WAL), Simon Zach (CZE), Terrence Ng (HKG),
52 / 8:51 Denzel Ieremia (NZL), Jorge Garcia (VEN), Jeremy Freiburghaus (SUI),
53 / 9:02 Kerry Mountcastle (NZL), Konrad Brauckmeyer (VEN), Perry Cohen (SUI),
54 / 9:13 Daniel Hillier (NZL), Ezequiel Prieto (VEN), Loic Ettlin (SUI),
[Tee 1 - O'Meara Course]
55 / 12:15 Andrew Borg (MLT), Alexei Coica (MDA), Husam Al-Hashimi (IRQ),
56 / 12:26 Ruud Critien (MLT), Dennis Volostnykh (MDA), Laith Barnouti (IRQ),
57 / 12:37 John Junior Micallef (MLT), Artiom Podgainii (MDA), Amer Radee (IRQ),
58 / 12:48 Justin Hastings (CAY), Alan Angel (GHA), Vladislav Marinov (BUL),
59 / 12:59 Payten Wight (CAY), Yao Dogbe (GHA), Dimitar Savov (BUL),
60 / 1:10 Aaron Jarvis (CAY), Kofi Kusi-Boateng (GHA), Ryan Staykov (BUL),
61 / 1:21 Khalid Al Jasmi (UAE), Jarryd Dillas (BER), Charles Weis (LUX),
62 / 1:32 Ahmad Skaik (UAE), Mikus Ming (BER), Georges Weis (LUX),
63 / 1:43 Saif Thabet (UAE), Walker Campbell (BER), David Winandy (LUX),
Tee 10 - O'Meara Course
64 / 12:15 Jean Louis Ducruet (PAN), Saleh Al Kaabi (QAT), Lucas Buerk (CRO),
65 / 12:26 Luis Cargiulo (PAN), Jaham Al Kuwari (QAT), Marko Stepinac (CRO),
66 / 12:37 Miguel Ordonez (PAN), Ali Al Shahrani (QAT), Ivan Vucemil (CRO),
67 / 12:48 Alexandre Illien (GAB), Mindaugas Vaicius (LTU), Maurice Pasha Brandt (HAI),
68 / 12:59 David Ayo Perez (GAB), Darius Momkus (LTU), Roger Saint Fort (HAI),
69 / 1:10 Gediminas Markevicius (LTU), Jean-Philippe Mehu (HAI),
70 / 1:21 Haiti Sebastian Schredt (LIE), Roman Balyan (ARM), Oladipo Thompson (NIG),
71 / 1:32 Elias Schreiber (LIE), Levon Karakhanyan (ARM), George Inalegwu (NIG),
72 / 1:43 Fabian Schredt (LIE), Aram Saghatelyan (ARM), Jordan Thompson (NIG),