'Strange' not to be defending The Open title: Lowry

Reuters
PGA: Workday Charity Open - First Round
PGA: Workday Charity Open - First Round

Shane Lowry expected to be doing plenty of press conferences this week, he just didn't expect to be doing them in Dublin, Ohio.


The Open Championship was canceled in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the PGA Tour slotting The Memorial Tournament into The Open's slot when revamping its own schedule following a three-month hiatus.

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So instead of a week relishing in his title defense at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, England, Lowry is just another name among a loaded field competing at Muirfield Village Golf Club in week six of the Tour's return to action.


"I wouldn't say it's bittersweet, but it is strange," Lowry said Wednesday. "Like I should be in St. George's today probably sitting in the pressroom there as defending champion and wondering how I'm going to go out and tackle that golf course as opposed to being here in Ohio.


"It's just very strange times for us at the minute, isn't it?"


Lowry was also quick to complement the prestige of the Memorial Tournament and the PGA Tour for working hard to return to competition.


Lowry is coming off a tie for 39th at last week's Workday Charity Open, which was also contested at Muirfield Village. He had 20 birdies and an eagle, building confidence toward this week's event.


"I personally thought that it was a great opportunity to play two events on the same course," he said. "You stay nice and fresh coming into this week.


"This is obviously a bigger week. This is a big week, one of the most prestigious events on Tour."


Lowry will have to wait another year to hear his name called on the first tee at St. George's as the defending Open champion from his 2019 victory at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. He hopes that happens with a large crowd on hand, but said he's not one to dwell on this.


"Things happen," Lowry said. "We're certainly not in control of what's happening in the world at the minute. We just kind of - we have to deal with the card we're given.


"I'd love, like everybody in the world, if things were back to normal. But they're not, and we kind of have to get on with that."



(Field Level Media)

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