Shane Lowry was one of six captain’s picks for the European Ryder Cup team, as he will make his second appearance.
Not everyone believed he deserved that spot because of his recent poor stretch. Adrian Meronk got left out, and many thought he should have taken Lowry’s place.
Ahead of the Horizon Irish Open, however, Lowry did not seem bothered by it.
The Irishman holds a 1-2-0 Ryder Cup record after his rookie debut at Whistling Straits in 2021. Team Europe fell to the Americans 19-to-9, but Team USA has not won overseas in three decades.
“There’s not many players playing that weren’t in the top 12, myself included,” Lowry said. “I think if you went down the list, you have the best 12 players, and that’s why you have six picks, so you have the chance to pick the 12 best players.”
Both teams have six qualifiers and six captain’s picks, but European Captain Luke Donald and American Captain Zach Johnson found those qualifiers in different ways. The Americans use qualifying points based on money earned between the 2022 and 2023 BMW Championships. Those top six guys are in automatically.
Shane Lowry hasn’t been in great form this year but still has 3 x top 20’s in the majors and is the reigning BMW PGA champion. If he can reignite this passion from the 2020 Ryder Cup, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Great celebration btw!
— Flushing It (@flushingitgolf) September 4, 2023
Europe utilizes two different metrics. There is a European points list based on points earned from the DP World Tour and World Golf Ranking points.
“I personally think that’s the right way to go about it, and I think we have the best 12 players from Europe coming to play this Ryder Cup, and I think we’re in form,” Lowry said. “A lot of players are in very good form, as you’ve seen over the last few weeks, and I think we’re going to give it a great go this year.”
Donald selected Lowry over Meronk despite the Pole winning the Australian, Irish, and Italian Opens.
Most people thought he got snubbed out of a pick. Instead, Donald chose a different tactic, which many people thought was the wrong choice for Team Europe.
“Well, people have their opinion. [Meronk] has had a great year, and obviously, he’s unfortunate to miss out, but somebody has to miss out,” Lowry said. “I’m not going to sit here and disagree with Luke Donald. It was his decision at the end of the day — If he thinks that somebody else is better for this team than he was.”
It is up to Donald to field his team, and he went with Lowry, who has the Ryder Cup experience.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.