By Andrew Wright published
It might be more than 18 months away, but Shane Lowry has already set his sights on helping Europe atone for last year's crushing Ryder Cup defeat when the tournament heads to Rome in 2023.
The 2019 Open champion made his debut in the biennial dust-up last year as Team USA dished out a record-breaking 19-9 thumping, leading many to suggest a new era of dominance could be on the cards.
But the Irishman is out to ensure the winning streak stops at one, admitting the manner of defeat was tough to take.
“Revenge? Yeah," Lowry said. “Look, last year hurt a little bit, the beating we got over at Whistling Straits. We were beaten by a better side on the week. It was disappointing, but it was also an amazing experience, and it was something that I look back on with very fond memories.
“Every Christmas I sit down with my team and we talk about what I want to achieve and for me, a good long-term goal every two years is the Ryder Cup. There's no doubt that I want to be a part of the team to go to Rome in 20 months' time and take that Ryder Cup, and that's my main focus over the next few years.”
Lowry gets his 2022 DP World Tour season underway with back-to-back Rolex Series events at the Abu Dhabi Championship and Dubai Desert Classic before jetting off to play in the Saudi International. The Irishman was one of many players granted a conditional release for the newly instated Asian Tour showpiece tournament.
The event has been mired in controversy since it landed on the European Tour schedule in 2019, with much of the criticism based on the apparent ‘sportswashing’ of Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record. However, Lowry defended his decision to play, insisting his main focus is to “earn a living for myself and my family, and this is just a part of that, and I need to go there.”
There is also the small matter of ranking points, with the field assembled for the third instalment of the Saudi International littered with major champions and huge stars from both sides of the Atlantic, something Lowry is using as added motivation as he targets a return to the world's top 20.
He said: "I feel like I can be a solid top 20 in the world golfer. I'm not going to put it out there and say I want to be World No. 1 or anything. I think if I play to my potential and my consistency level, I can be top 20 in the world. I feel like I can go and try and contend at a few majors, and that's where I'm at now.
"I'm happy to earn my living going there and hopefully win a tournament. I think for me as a golfer, I'm not a politician, I’ll let everyone else take care of that, and I'll go and do my job.
A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform covering football, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1, but he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing. He now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a handicap of 1. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
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