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The 2019 Open champion accused some LIV players of being deliberately disruptive and doesn’t like their presence taking the spotlight away from Europe’s most prestigious tournament. “There's some of the guys I kind of don't mind them being here given what they have done for the Tour over the years,” said Lowry. “There are certain guys I just can't stand them being here to be honest.
“I don't like it that they are here. I think to be honest, the one thing that has really annoyed me over the last few months is how disruptive they are all trying to be. Obviously they are here for world ranking points somewhat but they are here to be disruptive and I don't like it. To be honest, if I put myself in those guys' shoes, would I be here this week? No, it's too uncomfortable for me. It is what it is. Like I said it's the BMW PGA Championship, the biggest event in Europe and we would be talking about that and we are not. It's disappointing."
The 35-year-old Irishman says it’s unlikely he’ll be going for dinner with any of the LIV players, and while he will shake hands with some he still regards as friends, others will not get such a welcome.
He said: “Anybody that knows me, I don't like confrontation or any of that stuff. I'll say hello and do my thing. That's the way I'll be. Obviously the lads, I've known them for years and some of them became quite good friends over the last few years. But obviously I haven't seen them in a long time now, don't hang out with them anymore. Probably won't be going out for dinner because we haven't seen each other. But yeah there are certain lads that I shake hands with and certain hands I wouldn’t.”
Turning his thoughts to the Ryder Cup, Lowry said he is determined to be in a winning European team next year in Rome. “It's certainly one of my main goals for the next 12 months, not only to be a part of the team but go to Rome and win the trophy,” said Lowry, who made his Ryder Cup debut last year at Whistling Straits. “I think something I haven't done in my career so far, so it's definitely something that I want to achieve and yeah, all roads lead to Rome from here for me.”
Of course, even the Ryder Cup has the shadow of LIV Golf looming over it, with the participation - or not - of those players now plying their trade on Greg Norman’s new tour still to be decided. While a ruling is awaited, Lowry feels most European LIV players have their Ryder Cup days behind them anyway, as players at least.
“I can't see how they are going to make the team, they are going to need a pick,” he said. “I think without those guys, we still have a good team. With all due respect to a lot of those guys over at LIV, I think they know themselves and that's why they went to LIV, their Ryder Cup days are probably over. Obviously they are lined up as next captains but there's not too many of them that would have too many Ryder Cups.”
Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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