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'He Asked Me Afterwards, 'What Do You Think?' I Said, 'You Should Turn Pro''

'He Asked Me Afterwards, 'What Do You Think?' I Said, 'You Should Turn Pro''
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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10 years after winning the Irish Open and turning pro, Shane Lowry won his first major during the summer when he claimed the Claret Jug at The Open in Portrush.

The latter victory and the Offaly man's journey there is the subject of a new documentary which airs on RTÉ One on Monday, December 30th at 9.30pm.

Lowry famously won the 2009 Irish Open at Baltray as an amateur and so was unable to claim the prize money.

"If someone had given me the 500 grand at the time, I'm not sure if I'd be sitting here," the 32-year-old says in 'Shane Lowry: Open'.

After the Irish Open celebrations died down, Lowry and his coach Neil Manchip discussed whether or not he should turn pro. Lowry also turned to Rory McIlroy for advice.

McIlroy recalls:

He asked me afterwards, 'What do you think?' I said, 'You should turn pro. You've got all this opportunity. You've got a two-year exemption on tour. It's the perfect time'.

Because the amateur game is so much about teams, to go from that team environment to all of a sudden, you're on your own, you're an individual, this is your career now, you've got to make money from it. Some people struggle with that transition.

Lowry was one of those who did initially find the move tough.


"Next thing, he was out in this world on his own," remembers his mother, Bridget.


"We couldn't go because we couldn't afford to go.

"One time, talking to him on the phone and all he wanted to do was come home."

Things finally took a turn for the better at the French Open.


"I missed a few cuts in a row starting off," says Shane.

"Missing cuts and shooting bad scores, it's just hard to take. I was struggling.

"I made my first cut at the French Open. I got my first paycheque there: €16,000. I remember going home on the flight from Paris that evening thinking, 'I'm absolutely loaded here'."


Lowry returned home to Clara and gifted €500 to his delighted grandmother.

'Shane Lowry: Open' airs at 9:30pm on Monday, December 30th on RTÉ One.

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