News Update


Charley Hull and Shane Lowry’s strong finishes have improved Europe’s Solheim and Ryder Cup teams.

Professional golfers like to deal in victories, yet high finishes can be considered victories in their own right.

Certainly, Charley Hull and Shane Lowry would have loved to spend Monday morning preparing a new trophy, but both can look back on very successful weekends.

Hull finished second in the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati in her last outing before the Solheim Cup this month, while Lowry finished third at the Horizon Irish Open.

“The juices were flowing,” Lowry said after waving his cap to both sides of the K Club’s 18th green. He finished two strokes behind champion Vincent Norrman at 12 under par on a difficult layout.

Lowry’s return to form couldn’t have come at a better time. Given his comparatively mediocre 2023 play, the 36-year-old delivered under the pressure of a home Open in the aftermath of his Ryder Cup wildcard selection being questioned.

Now he will defend the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this week before lining up as one of Europe’s dozen to face the US in Rome at the end of the month.

“I started the week by getting on the Ryder Cup team, and I come here and play some of the best golf I’ve played all year,” Lowry explained. “I’m quite proud of myself.

“One thing I’m particularly pleased with is my iron play, which has been erratic in recent months.” It was the best aspect of my game this week, in my opinion.

“I’m pretty happy with everything, and I have a nice few weeks ahead of me.”

When Europe’s captain Luke Donald gathered late on Sunday night in the Italian city before spending Monday studying the Marco Simone course that will host the Ryder Cup, he will have given Lowry a pat on the back.

This is Lowry’s first visit to the venue, which includes the European team, captain and vice-captains. It will be a crucial reconnaissance and team-bonding exercise before the continent’s Italian task on September 29 – October 1.

Lowry, the 2019 Open champion, was chosen on reputation rather than form, despite having only one top-10 finish all year.

“Irish Opens are tournaments that were generally a struggle in the past,” he conceded.

“I felt great out there all week this week.” It’s certainly one of the finest tournaments I’ve played this year, which is fantastic.

“I have an exciting few weeks of golf ahead of me now, and this is a great way to start,” he says. “Hopefully, I can build on it from here.”

Europe will attempt to reclaim the Ryder Cup one week after the continent’s women defend the Solheim Cup against the United States at Finca Cortesin in Spain on September 22-24.

Hull, on the other hand, is having one of her best seasons of her career. A win has been lacking amid a spate of runner-up performances, including the US Open and the AIG Women’s Open.

Last Sunday, the 27-year-old from Kettering came agonizingly close, coming from five strokes behind with eight holes to play to force a play-off with Australia’s Minjee Lee.

Hull came within a centimetre of victory when her daring putt from the back of the green on the first extra hole stalled rolling only one revolution before joyously going underground.

Lee, the 2022 US Open champion, took advantage of the next opportunity with a remarkably well-judged approach to tap-in range, leaving Hull with her sixth runner-up finish in the last ten months.

Second place in the next race would be a considerably more painful defeat, as Europe tries for a record third triumph in a row.

“I’m looking forward to Solheim,” stated Hull.

“I’m looking forward to doing some work with my coach next week and just getting back into it and finishing the season.”

Hull is especially excited about the prospect of playing for captain Suzann Pettersen on the Costa del Sol. “Suzann is going to be a great captain,” Hull said.

“She’s one of my favorite players of all time, so it’s pretty cool.” “I wish she was a member of the team.”

More importantly, Pettersen must be overjoyed that an in-form Hull will be such a major component in her lineup.


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