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12th Apr 2021

“It’s pretty shit for me, to be honest” – Shane Lowry on Irish quarantine uncertainty

Patrick McCarry

Shane Lowry

“Who knows when I’ll be able to go home to Ireland, if I’ll be able to go home to Ireland.”

Shane Lowry was fired up after he finished up The Masters with a round of 72 to finish level par for the championship, and in a tie for 21st.

The Offaly native cut a disgruntled figure in his post-round press briefing at Augusta National, as he contemplated an uncertain future and took aim at Ireland’s new quarantine rules.

Lowry is unhappy that those arriving into Ireland from the United States will be required to quarantine in designated hotels for 14 days.

After answering some questions on his closing round, Lowry was queried about his schedule for the next few weeks. It all came flooding out. He told reporters:

“I feel like, if I go on doing what I’m doing, I’ll do something okay in the next while. I’m playing at Hilton Head next week. I have no idea what I’m going to do after that because my caddie has to go home tomorrow night. He can’t work next week because of this new quarantine they’ve brought in in Ireland from the States. Who knows when I’ll be able to go home to Ireland, if I’ll be able to go home to Ireland.

“I have no idea what my schedule is going to be leading up to the Open, but it’s definitely going to be mostly over here. I don’t know if I’ll get back to play in Europe at all.”

Shane Lowry pictured with his caddie Brian ‘Bo’ Martin on his way to completing his victory at the 148th Open Championship in 2019. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Asked about what his caddie, Brian ‘Bo’ Martin, was going to do, Lowry replied. “I have no idea.

“Ireland brought in a quarantine rule from the U.S. for some strange reason on Thursday, and we just had to make a decision. Like he’s waiting on his second dose of vaccine back home, I think, and he needs to go home and get everything sorted. I don’t expect anyone to spend two weeks in a hotel for me in quarantine. I’m not going to do it, so I don’t expect anyone else to do it.

“There’s a couple of guys who aren’t playing next week and they’re out there looking for a job. So I’ll find a caddie out there somewhere.”

At present, the USA and UK are tracking far ahead of Ireland, and many other nations, when it comes to administering vaccine doses.

Asked if that would put many European golfers at a disadvantage, Lowry raised the spectre of the 2021 Irish Open falling the way of the cancelled 2020 tournament.

“Well,” he mused, “I think right now, if you look at what the Irish government are out there doing, I think the Irish Open is going to be in trouble because they’re out there putting France, Germany, and the U.S. on a quarantine for two weeks. So I don’t know what’s going to happen there.

“You know, it’s pretty s*** for me, to be honest, because I know things are tough for everybody at the minute, but my coach and my team are going home tomorrow, and I probably won’t see them until The Open.

“It’s not great, you know, because I want them over here for the big tournaments, the PGA and the U.S. Open. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know. Maybe there will be exemptions or something. I have no idea.

“We’re an Olympic sport now. Maybe we should get an exemption. I have no idea.”

Back to the tournament itself, Lowry admitted that when he slipped to +3 at one stage of the tournament, the thought crossed his mind that he would never win a green jacket.

However, getting back to -2 at one stage of the final round showed him all was not lost. As his press briefing wrapped up, a reporter remarked, ‘No reason you can’t [win it]’.

“Exactly,” the Clara an replied.