Golf player Shane Lowry ‘excited’ as he prepares for Saudi International

Shane Lowry with the cup he won in Abu Dhabi. (Supplied)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Golf player Shane Lowry ‘excited’ as he prepares for Saudi International

  • The player said the weather is perfect in the Middle East
  • Lowry commended the work of Saudi Golf in promoting the game in the Kingdom

DUBAI: Self-confessed Middle East fan, Shane Lowry said he is excited to play at the Saudi International golf tournament, at the Royal Greens and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

And the world’s number 19, who is currently defending his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title. said he hoped to score high in the upcoming game as he plays for the first time in the Kingdom during the tournament which runs from Jan, 30 to Feb. 2.

“It would be great to win in Saudi Arabia and start my season in a positive way as I look to achieve one of my lifelong goals to play the Ryder Cup,” the player said.

Explaining his love of the region he said the Middle East had perfect weather and pristine courses, presenting him with another reason to be excited about his pending visit to Saudi Arabia.

“A lot of the guys on tour said it was a great event in 2019 [the Saudi International] and the course was in excellent condition,” Lowry added.

The player commended the work of Saudi Golf in promoting the game in the Kingdom, which he believes will benefit the sport on the long term.

“It is great to see so many young people [in Saudi Arabia] taking up sports, whether that is golf or another sport… It will teach you to be patient but also show that work brings rewards,” Lowry said.


To not lose unique atmosphere, McIlroy pitches for Ryder Cup in 2021

Updated 27 May 2020

To not lose unique atmosphere, McIlroy pitches for Ryder Cup in 2021

LONDON: Rory McIlroy believes the Ryder Cup will be moved back to 2021 under pressure from players to not lose the unique atmosphere of the biennial event behind
closed doors.

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the golfing calendar with the three US-based majors moved to later in the year and the British Open canceled.

The Ryder Cup is still scheduled to take place from Sept. 25-27 in Wisconsin, but spectators would almost certainly not be allowed to attend if it did go ahead.

“I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of the atmosphere they want to play,” McIlroy told BBC Northern Ireland.

“They want to play in front of crowds, that makes the Ryder Cup so special.

“At the end of the day the players are the ones that make the Ryder Cup and if they don’t want to play then there isn’t a
Ryder Cup.

“I see it being pushed back to 2021 and honestly I think that would be the right call.”

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington has previously warned his players that they may have to sacrifice the thrill of playing in front of big crowds for the good of golf fans watching at home.

“The players don’t want it but we might have to take one for the world of team sport and put an event on that people can watch,” said Harrington earlier this month.

“It wouldn’t be the same for us but we’re craving sport on TV.”

McIlroy is facing a busy end to the year with the PGA Tour set to return from June 11.

The PGA Championship, US Open and Masters will follow in August, September and November respectively, but McIlroy is still disappointed the Open was not also rescheduled.

“I was just as disappointed as everyone else that The Open got canceled this year,” he added.

“I think it would have been a good date in September if we were able to play it.”