Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

USPGA Championship: Lowry ready for another step into the unknown

John Daly’s red and white ensemble was so garish, Ray Charles would have winced.

Yet Shane Lowry didn't even notice the iconic American golfer as he ambled past.

Daly and his small entourage were making their way up the steep ascent from the ninth green and pressing on towards the 10th.

Lowry (23) only had eyes, however, for the spectacular Straits Course golf course as it stretched out from beneath our feet to the shore of Lake Michigan.

And the adventures which lie ahead at the US PGA Championship, only his second Major and his first on American soil.

The lad from Clara doesn't star-gaze.

In the 15 months since his sensational victory as an amateur at Baltray, Lowry's impressed Tour colleagues by the way in which he combines a powerful work ethic with a wonderfully laid-back nature.

“Shane has a fantastic attitude for the game and that is why he has settled in as well as he has,” says Graeme McDowell. “He's got a very relaxed demeanour and doesn't put himself under a lot of pressure.

“He's extremely talented and is a good driver of the golf ball while he has a good short game. But Shane's also a pretty sensible kid for a young land,” the Pebble Beach hero added. “He's got all the tools.”

Lowry was nervous hitting his first tee-shot at last month's Open Championship “because it was at St Andrews and I didn't know what to expect, though I loved every minute of the Open after that.”

Lowry will tread confidently into the PGA fray today. “There's no real point in playing golf unless you really believe you can compete with the world's best,” he said. “That's the goal for me. I'm only 23 and have got a long way to go yet.”

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