Lowry sets sights firmly on European crown

Shane Lowry insists he will "give it everything" in his bid on becoming European Number One for the first time in his career.

Shane Lowry

The Open Champion currently sits third in the 2019 Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex after an impressive season and will play alongside leader Bernd Wiesberger during the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open.

It will be an intriguing battle in Antalya - with two time defending champion Justin Rose completing a stellar threeball on the opening day - as two of Europe's most in-form golfers go head to head.

The seventh edition of the event returns to The Montgomerie Maxx Royal in the first of three season-ending Rolex Series events and Lowry is determined to finish the season on a high and possibly collect even more honours.

"I’m going to give it everything I can over this week and try and win the Race to Dubai – see how high I can finish up there," Lowry said. "I’ll go out and give it my best and see where it leaves me.

"It’s my main goal over the next few weeks to perform as best as I can and go to the final 18 holes in Dubai, it would be lovely to have a chance to win the Race to Dubai. To be European Number One would be really special and would add to the year I’ve had.

Outside of a Major, as a European Tour player it probably doesn’t get much bigger. There are WGCs as well, but Rolex Series events are definitely up there

"For me, I think it would be the icing on the cake. I’m going to give it my best shot but if I don’t win it, I won’t be too disappointed.

"I’ve had a decent year and I’d be pretty happy with what I’ve got at Christmas."

The Irishman's campaign got off to the perfect start as he claimed the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA crown - the first Rolex Series event of the season - before recording an eighth placed finish at the US PGA Championship.

However, the greatest moment of his career came when he secured his first Major title at Royal Portrush after easing to a six shot victory to win The Open Championship, which also saw him climb to the top of Race to Dubai Rankings.

Austrian Wiesberger has since overtaken Lowry at the summit - as has Spaniard Jon Rahm - but the 32-year-old does not underestimate the value of Rolex Series events and hopes to be in contention during the final three tournaments of the campaign.

"On the European Tour they are our biggest events," Lowry said. "To start the year with a win in Abu Dhabi at a Rolex Series event was huge – that gave me the confidence going forward.

"Outside of a Major, as a European Tour player it probably doesn’t get much bigger. There are WGCs as well, but Rolex Series events are definitely up there.

"It’s definitely one of those weeks where it’s a really nice week. Lovely weather, lovely golf course, great hotel. It’s a chilled week, but there’s a lot of business to take care of as well. I’m looking forward to getting out there.

"There’s a lot of birdie chances out there. It’s just keeping bogeys off the card and taking your chances when you get them.

"If you play the par fives well you have a chance of shooting a good score. A lot will be won and lost on the par fives this week."

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