OWINGS MILLS, Md. – A day after doubling Caves Valley’s par-3 17th hole, Shane Lowry fared much better at that hole on Sunday.
“I thought I was on my way to a new BMW,” said Lowry, whose tee ball ended up 4 feet shy of the hole before he rolled in the short birdie putt, his seventh birdie of the day, on his way to a closing 7-under 65 at the BMW Championship.
Lowry’s strong finish wasn’t enough to qualify him for next week’s Tour Championship, but with Lowry currently with a nice cushion of France’s Victor Perez in Team Europe’s world points list for the Ryder Cup, his performance won’t hurt his chances of automatically qualifying for Padraig Harrington’s squad.
“I'd rather if I wasn't under pressure,” Lowry said. “I'd rather if I was fully cemented in the team. … But yeah, it is what it is. It's a great position to be in. Three years ago when it was the France Ryder Cup, and I wasn't anywhere near the team, I would have given a lot to be in the position I am now. So, I'm in the position now where I need to kind of grab it by the scruff of the neck and go ahead and make the team.”
While the U.S. team’s automatic race ends Sunday, Europe’s battle for its nine auto selections extends through the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in two weeks. Harrington has previously challenged all prospective players to “come and show me” at the European Tour’s flagship event.
Lowry plans to be in the field along with notable potential captain’s picks Ian Poulter and Justin Rose. He’ll fly back home to Ireland on Sunday night and spend a week there before heading to England.
“I'm pretty happy with how I've been playing over the last while, and I think I've put my hand up,” Lowry said. “Like I said, I'm in the team now, but Wentworth is going to be a big week, and I'm looking forward to kind of going there and competing. It's a place I love going, and hopefully I can have a good week and kind of cement my place on the team.”