Shane Lowry has a new centerpiece for his kitchen table, and you’re unlikely to find others like it. Unless, of course, you’re at Padraig Harrington’s house.
By Nick Menta
Seated in the interview room Sunday night, the Champion Golfer of the Year recalled watching Harrington win back-to-back Opens in 2007 and 2008, when Lowry was just 20 and 21 years old.
“I didn't even know him back then,” he said.
Fast forward more than a decade, and there was Harrington, standing behind the 18th green, waiting to congratulate Lowry as the only other man from the Republic of Ireland to claim the Claret Jug.
“I'm obviously very good friends with him [now],” Lowry continued. “To have him there on the 18th — like, you go into Paddy's house and the Claret Jug is sitting on the kitchen table, and I'm going to have one on my kitchen table, as well.
“I said that to him … that's going to be quite nice.”
Lowry is the fifth player from Ireland to with The Open, joining Harrington and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (2014), Darren Clarke (2011) and Fred Daly (1947).
Golf’s newest major winner lauded the influence of both Harrington and Graeme McDowell on Irish golf in general and his career in specific.
Once uncomfortable with his place in the game, Lowry looked quite comfortable seated next to the Claret Jug on Sunday night.
“And obviously Paddy and G-Mac have just been — they're two really good friends of mine now,” he said. “To be able to hang around with someone like Padraig Harrington who is, as we all know, like, I think paved the way for the success of Irish golfers. I'm just so happy I can add my name to the list of major champions.
“I used to curse them an awful lot in the past because that's all anybody wanted to know about in Ireland because they were winning so many majors. When are you going to win one? Winning regular events wasn't good enough for anyone.
“We're very lucky – Irish golfers. People might say there's not enough Irish golfers on tour. But look at the standard of Irish golfers we have. Rory McIlroy is one of the best players in the world, if not the best on his day. And G-Mac I think is getting his stroke back. And the careers that Paddy and Darren and those guys have had is just incredible.”