‘I don’t play the game for money’: Shane Lowry explains decision to resist LIV Golf

·3-min read
‘I don’t play the game for money’: Shane Lowry explains decision to resist LIV Golf

Shane Lowry insists he doesn’t “play the game for money” after explaining his decision to resist any attempts to join LIV Golf.

The Irishman triumphed on Sunday at Wentworth to win the BMA PGA Championship, holding off Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm to win by one stroke.

The 35-year-old, who maintains the Saudi-backed breakaway tour isn’t good for the game, recalled only finding out his prize money of £1.18m ($1.36m) for winning on Sunday after being asked late at night during celebrations.

“I have always said I don't play the game for money,” Lowry told No Laying Up. “I never have, I feel like that's what I didn't even entertain it to be honest.

“I've said to a couple of players that have gone to LIV, 'why do you play the game?' If you play the game for money, maybe you should probably do it. If you play the game for trophies, you know, you shouldn't.

Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates after putting on the 18th hole at Wentworth (Getty Images)
Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates after putting on the 18th hole at Wentworth (Getty Images)

“I stood there on the 18th green on Sunday [at the BMW PGA Championship] and was handed that trophy and it's the who's who of European golf and I'm like, this is incredible, my name gets to go on that.

“I don't care how much money I won. We had a few drinks on Sunday, it was 11pm, and somebody says, 'how much did you win today?' I'm like, ‘I honestly have no idea’, they were like, ‘no way’. They wouldn't believe me, I'm like, ‘I genuinely have no idea’, I opened my phone, I had to go to the text I got from the European Tour to see how much I won.

“That’s why I play the game, as well as that I've got good solid people around me. My wife had a big part, not a big part to play in it because it was never in my head, she said, 'Shane, all that money is not going to make you happy, what's going to make you happy is competing at the highest level'.

“And that's the reason, well not the reason I've never gone, the reason I've not even contemplated it is because I don't think it's good for the game, that's why it's never been a thought process.”

Lowry is the latest DP World Tour player to speak out against LIV Golf with McIlroy reiterating his belief that those players who have switched allegiance should not be part of the Ryder Cup next year.

“I have said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, I don’t think any of those guys should be on the Ryder Cup team,” McIlroy said. “I think we were in need of a rebuild, anyway.

“We did well with the same guys for a very long time but again as I just said, everything comes to an end at some point. I think Whistling Straits is a good sort of demarcation, I guess.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland talks with Keith Pelley, CEO of the DP World Tour (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland talks with Keith Pelley, CEO of the DP World Tour (Getty Images)

“I think the European Team has a core of six or seven guys that I think we all know are pretty much going to be on that team, and then it’s up to some of the younger guys to maybe step up.

“You’ve got your core there with experience in the Ryder Cup and played in a few, so I think you’re looking for some of these younger guys over the next 12 months to step up and put their hand up for a possible pick.

“We have got a core group of guys but let’s build on that again, and instead of filling those three or four spots with older veterans, let’s blood some rookies and let’s get them in and build towards the future. I think that’s important.”