Irish Open hero Shane Lowry is keeping his counsel but a source close to the Clara sensation last night suggested next week’s European Open at the London Club could be his first tournament as a pro.
Lowry, 22, beat England’s Robert Rock in sudden-death on Sunday but had to forego the €500,000 prize because of his amateur status.
However, his victory at Baltray made headlines worldwide, earning instant celebrity for Lowry, who should easily match that half million from endorsements, sponsorship contracts and equipment deals when he turns pro.
The insider said Lowry was about to join Graeme McDowell, Michael Hoey and England’s Ross Fisher in the star-studded stable at Dublin firm, Horizon Sports Management.
Padraig Harrington insists Lowry has nothing to lose by delaying his decision to turn pro until after the Walker Cup.
“He has a lot of decisions that would be hard to make with a clear head. What would I do if I was 22? I don’t know,” Harrington said.
“Yet looking back at age 38, I think he’ll have 28 years to play on the regular tour and just three months (more) to play as an amateur.”
Saying he would make a decision tomorrow or Thursday, Lowry revealed: “I can’t really see myself playing amateur golf after what’s happened over the weekend. I think it would be a big step down and I wouldn’t have any interest in it really.”
Lowry will not play this week’s BMW PGA Championship. Ulster’s Gareth Maybin gained admission to the £4.5m Wentworth showpiece when the field was completed yesterday.
Meanwhile it was a day of high drama at the Lancome Irish Women’s Close championship at Fota Island Golf Resort yesterday as defending champion Leona Maguire (14) was knocked out on the second extra hole by teenage sensation Victoria Bradshaw.
After finishing all square on the 18th, the Bangor golfer surged to a shock win in the late afternoon to qualify for today’s quarter-finals.
But while Leona will be missing from the tee-box today, her sister Lisa will go all out to produce her best form and nail one of the top two spots at the end of the quarter and semi-finals.
Lisa closed out her day with a 5&4 win over former champion Karen Delaney, and all eyes will be on her this morning as she is the first of the four pairings to head out, meeting Catherine Tucker who upset Patrice Delaney 1up.
Another shock came in the form of Gillian O’Leary bowing out to Dungannon’s Caoimhe Quinn in a match decided on the 19th hole. Quinn will play Niamh Kitching who came from one down to advance at the expense of Sarah Helly 3&2.