Shane Lowry ‘lost it’ before even teeing off as Europe make dream start

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Lowry combined with Sepp Straka for a 2&1 win over Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa.
Posted on
September 29, 2023
by
The Editorial Team in
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Shane Lowry admitted he “lost it” on the first tee at the Ryder Cup after Europe got off to a dream start in Rome on Friday.

Europe claimed a 4-0 first-session clean sweep for the first time in the competition’s history as they beat the United States in all four foursomes matches on the opening day at Marco Simone.

The fireworks began early as Viktor Hovland, playing in the second match of the day, chipped in for birdie at the first hole.

Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland provided an early spark for Europe (David Davies/PA)

That not only fired up his playing partner Ludvig Aberg as they went on to beat Max Homa and Brian Harman 4&3, but inspired Lowry, who was playing in the next match and watching on the big screen.

“I stood on the first tee trying to stay calm, and I’m watching Viktor on the big screen and he chipped in, and I lost it,” said Lowry, who combined with Sepp Straka for a 2&1 win over Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa.

“That’s what the Ryder Cup does to me. It’s a very special tournament.”

With Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton beating Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns 4&3 in the top match, Tommy Fleetwood was also fuelled by the success of his team-mates.

Fleetwood, who recorded a 2&1 win over Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay in partnership with Rory McIlroy, said: “It was sort of nice being that last group out and seeing all the blue on the board and hearing the cheers. I think me and Rory were just very aware that we wanted to make sure we kept that momentum going.”

Home captain Luke Donald had opted to play the foursomes matches first to help the side get off to a “fast start” in their stronger pairings format.

Tommy Fleetwood celebrates his victory on day one
Tommy Fleetwood was spurred on by the successes of his team-mates (Mike Egerton/PA)

The team revealed they had also played some mini-competitions in practice to help sharpen their games.

Fleetwood said: “Everybody that was playing together, we just played some three-hole matches. That was something we just added into the practice rounds this week.

“I guess it was the perfect execution of a plan where everybody got going early and nobody let up.”

Lowry, who is playing in his first home Ryder Cup, relished the atmosphere and hopes to experience plenty more of it.

The Irishman, Open champion in 2019, said: “Obviously I’m very fortunate to have a Claret Jug in my house but, when I finish my career, I really want one, if not multiple, of these under my belt as well.

“I just love it. This is, honestly, the most special week in golf. There’s a reason it’s the greatest tournament in golf.”

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