"I was going to have to do all the work!" - Shane Lowry on Rory McIlroy's car park flare-up
Bouncer, cheerleader, diplomat, golfer, singer... the man was doing it all in Rome.
Shane Lowry was in understandably buoyant mood after helping Europe win back The Ryder Cup from America at Marco Simone Golf Course.
The Clara native secured 1.5 points in his three matches and more than made up for the heartbreak of a heavy defeat on his competition debut, at Whistling Straits, in 2021. On the final day, he mounted an impressive comeback against Jordan Spieth, from 3 Down after five holes, and helped settle European nerves as the middle of the singles board turned red.
In the end, it was Tommy Fleetwood being conceded a birdie putt that clinched victory for Europe but, right around the same time, Lowry was going a shot up on Spieth to ensure he would win at least half a point. By the time Lowry came down 18, amid wild scenes, it was a rushed end to his match and he shook on a half with the American before being engulfed in a celebratory swoop.
Following the five point European win, Lowry spoke extremely well about what this whole week, and victory, meant, as well as him playing peacemaker when Rory McIlroy was fit to be tied in front of the clubhouse, on Saturday night.
Shane Lowry's car park joke
"Unbelievable," Shane Lowry reflected to Sky Sports after his match with Jordan Spieth ended.
"You know, like I said, I'm so grateful that Luke Donald put his trust in me and gave me a pick, and I think I proved my worth this week. And yeah, he's just been incredible from -- you know, there's so many little things that goes on behind the scenes that nobody in the whole world sees and Luke got absolutely everything spot on.
"Luke said we were going to go out early this week and hit them hard early and that's what we did. At one stage it was looking dodgy enough but I have faith in the lads and faith in myself. I'm very happy."
By the time Lowry got to the players' press conference, some champagne and beer had been consumed by the winning team, and spirits were high. Here is some of the Q&A on the car park flare-up, on Saturday, that saw Lowry pull Rory McIlroy away from Jim 'Bones' Mackay and members of Team USA.
Q. You still seemed quite pumped about it when you finished your round on 17, you were still saying what happened last night was disgraceful and you still seemed quite animated by it. Could you expand a bit on that? And also, most importantly, are you annoyed that Shane ushered you into a car or quite relieved?
RORY McILROY: I was relieved. He took me down to the cold plunge in the hotel and let me cool off there for a few minutes, too. Yeah, very relieved.
We talked about it as a team last night. We felt like it was disrespectful, and it wasn't just disrespectful to Fitz and I. It was disrespectful to the whole team.
I get that we get the banter when we go over to the States and play, and you know, the same happens here. It's just the way it is. It the way the Ryder Cup goes. You have to have thick skin. That's just the way it is.
Q. And are you much of a car park scrapper?
RORY McILROY: No. But if I need to...
SHANE LOWRY: I had to do all the work. I was going to have to do all the work!
McIlroy did confirm his comments were directed at Mackay but were about fellow USA caddie Joe LaCava, who had irked the Europeans with celebrations and comments after Patrick Cantlay had holed a long birdie putt on the 18th green, on Saturday.
"I text Bones this morning," said McIlroy. "He was the first American I saw after I got out of the locker room so he was the one that took the brunt of it. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I text Bones this morning and apologised for that."
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