No let up from Lowry in 2020

Shane Lowry is hoping the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA can once again kickstart a glorious European Tour season as he looks to defend his title at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Shane Lowry

The Irishman won his first Rolex Series title at this event 12 months ago after a titanic final day battle with Richard Sterne and carried his form and confidence through to the summer and into his remarkable victory at The Open Championship.

He also stayed in contention for the Race to Dubai right up until the season finale after his first multiple winning campaign, but with a new year comes new challenges and Lowry has no intention of resting on his laurels.

With a Ryder Cup and the Olympic Mens Golf Competition to come in 2020, there could be more firsts for Lowry and once again it all begins with the Rolex Series in Abu Dhabi.

"I couldn't really have envisaged what happened," he said of 2019. "It was obviously really nice to get off to an unbelievable start here, winning one of the biggest events on Tour.

Shane Lowry

"This course, this tournament, against this field every year is a really, really difficult tournament to win and it obviously kickstarted an unbelievable season.

"I had not won for a few years and I think to win the way I won last year, as well. I led the whole week and then found myself four behind with seven to play and I showed a lot of character, a lot of determination and a lot of heart that day.

"I think that can only give you confidence going forward. Anybody who plays this game knows that a lot of it is built on confidence, a lot of form is built on confidence and that's what I gained from here last year.

"I have it in my head what I want to achieve this year and the main thing for me is to make that Ryder Cup Team. I've kind of set my schedule out, I've set everything out to do that.

"I think I need to just bring it back to basics and back to what I do best and that's just being the best version of myself every day and that's all I can do. 

"I go out tomorrow, might be 72, it might be 62, but I know it's the best I can do and I've prepared as well as I can. 

"I think if I do that for the whole season, I'll get to where I want to be."

Lowry may be starting his European Tour season this week but the hard work has been going on for a while, as proven by the now famous recent pictures of his blister covered hands.

After a recent training 'bootcamp', Lowry finished second last week at the rescheduled Hong Kong Open and he is feeling well prepared in the Middle East.

"I was trying to squeeze a lot of practice in, more practice than I normally do," he said. "I managed a few blisters but they are somewhat cleared up now. Nothing along the lines of Alex Noren's hands or anything but I suppose it's hard luck for me.

"I basically had my trainer with me and we were in the gym at 7.00am every morning and we went to the golf course, practised all day and went to the gym again. We probably left the gym at 7.00- 8.00pm that evening and went for dinner and went to bed. 

"It was like a little mini bootcamp but it was fine. It was good fun, actually, I really enjoyed it."

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