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'It Was Probably One Of The Most Difficult Things I've Ever Had To Do'

'It Was Probably One Of The Most Difficult Things I've Ever Had To Do'
By PJ Browne
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You could not say that Shane Lowry's form has returned at the perfect time - earlier in the season would have been far more preferable. Still, it has not come back too late.

If he is to retain his PGA Tour card, Lowry needs rank within the top 125 of the FedEx Cup standings by the finish to this weekend's Wyndham Championship.

He's currently ranked 139, requiring at top ten or so place this weekend to rise the required rungs. Just being in with a chance has come down to his performances over the past three weekends. Those saw three top 15 finishes.

Lowry's confidence in his game has bloomed once again. That has coincided with a change in caddy: his brother Alan has been on the bag as Dermot Byrne left the Offaly man's side after nine years.

"It was probably one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do," Lowry told Off The Ball on Tuesday night about letting Byrne go.

I don't 100 per cent what the answer is or what it was; having Alan on the bag freshens it up a little bit, puts a lot more onus on myself.

I think that had a little bit to do with it but I'm slow enough to say that because Dermot was good to me for so long. It was hard to finish that, it was almost like breaking up a marriage because it was going on for so long.

I'm not going to dive into it too much because I'm conscious of him. It's funny, he's working for Julian Surrey for a couple of weeks and we were very nearly paired with him, that would have been interesting.

We spoke a little bit last week and we were on a charter flight down here to Wyndham and we sat beside each other on the plane. We're still good friends and he's been good to me and I've been good to him.

That's the way we've left it. That's the way we wanted to leave it. We spoke about it at The Open and we said we'd leave it where we still remain friends because we've had nine successful years together.

Though he calls the final day at the weekend's PGA Championship one of his most enjoyable days ever on a golf course, there were frustrations. Mainly, annoyance regarding two officials failing to make a ruling after his tee-shot landed behind a TV tower on the 16th.

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He eventually played on and carded a bogey. That he had sought an opinion from a second official caused a delay on the course. CBS commentators expressed annoyance that Justin Thomas was held up.

"I saw afterwards that the CBS guys were giving me a bit of stick for holding up Justin Thomas. I'm not sure if they realised I was actually playing in the tournament as well.

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"It was a bit of a mess. When I thought about it afterwards and talked about it with a couple of people, I should have got relief. I spoke to Padraig [Harrington] and anyone that knows Padraig knows that he knows the rules. He said if he was there, he would have got the drop, end of story."

Lowry finished tied for 12th. A finish made all the better by the presence of his father on course.

"We were in Reno the week before and it was two men and a dog out watching. We were finished after a round and myself and Alan were sitting in the locker room and he said it was one of the maddest experiences of his life. It was one of those days you'll always remember and talk about.

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"He [Dad] wasn't supposed to come and then when Alan was going to caddy for me, I said to him, 'You might as well come over because it might never happen again'.

"We had such a good week, the three of us together. He was one of the proudest men out there."

Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

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See Also: Shane Lowry Irked By Officials Who 'Lacked Balls' To Make Decision

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