‘It’s a big leap for him’ – Paul McGinley on Shane Lowry’s Masters chances

Shane Lowry

Lowry has missed the cut in three of his five previous Masters appearances.

Paul McGinley believes it would take a ‘big leap’ for Shane Lowry to hold off the best players in the world and add the Masters to his Open Championship crown this week.

Lowry became a major champion in memorable fashion at Royal Portrush in 2019, producing some magical golf to beat Tommy Fleetwood by six shots.

However, the Offaly man has since struggled to rediscover his golden touch and has slipped to number 44 in the world rankings having spent some time inside the top 20.

Lowry does not boast the strongest record at the Masters having missed the cut on three of his five previous trips to Augusta. No Irish player has ever won the Masters.

“He doesn’t have a great record around here,” said Sky Sports golf expert McGinley.

“He did OK in November but it was a soft golf course, it was playing as easy as you’ll ever see Augusta play.

“He’s only had two top-10s since he won the Open Championship, which is 18 months ago now. You often find that with players who have a monumental win, that period of adjustment.”

Putting Lowry’s big weakness – McGinley

While Lowry is blessed with a wonderful golfing imagination, a lack of touch on the greens has often prevented the Irishman from contending in tournaments over the last year.

Lowry is ranked 152nd in strokes gained: putting on the PGA Tour this season and was 163rd in 2020.

And McGinley admits that, even if Lowry were to find his putting groove this week, it would be a big ask for the 34-year-old to outplay some of the game’s in-form stars.

“We all know he’s a great player and that he’s got a lot of heart and a time for the big occasion,” added 2014 Ryder Cup captain McGinley.

“But the big weakness clearly in Shane’s game is what is a very lukewarm putter. If he can find something to get the putter going, he’s got the other attributes there.

“But it’s a big leap for him to go on and win the Masters around here. I can see him certainly having a top-10, but it would be a big leap and it would be a sentimental feeling I’d be saying Shane could win the Masters.

“There are not a lot of indications there to think he could go on and win with so many players on form at the top of the game at the moment.

“That doesn’t rule out the fact that he could have a very good week, and that’s what we want to see from Shane, more regular good performances and building a platform to go on and win another major during the summer maybe, which is what he did the last time.

“He had some decent form going in before he won the Open.”

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