Nice guys can finish first!

The weekend’s events at the World Golf Championship in the USA show that nice guys do actually win now and again and the victory for Shane Lowry at Firestone is up there with the best sporting achievements of the year in any sport.

  Not alone did he beat a world class field but he played some sensational golf to do so. Three or four of the recovery shots that he played on the back nine when he needed them were as good as you would see at any tournament.

  Shane is now up to 19th in the world rankings and is set to rise even higher. But the reason why this great win is being celebrated so much here is because Shane Lowry is such a nice guy. I have had the pleasure of meeting him twice and he has absolutely no airs or graces at all. He is an ordinary country lad with an extraordinary talent. He is a gaelic football fan, enjoys a few pints with his friends and loves living in this country. In a recent interview he said that no matter how well he does in the USA he will always live here.

  Lowry’s next target is to win a major championship and he proved last weekend that he can take on the best on a difficult golf course and win. I won’t be backing him to win the USPGA Championship this week though. Winning last weekend would have taken a lot out of him. But he will go from strength to strength now and will have a huge career over the next 15 years or so. He certainly has the game to do it. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  To give you an idea about this guy and what he is like and how laid-back he is, the last time he won a couple of years ago in Portugal was the same day as the Offaly county final that Clara were playing in. Lowry was delayed on one tee and while he was waiting he said to the crowd “Anyone know how Clara are doing?”

  Someone replied that they were losing by six points with the game going into injury-time.

  “Not good, I’ll have to make sure I win here so to keep the spirits up” was his reply, to laughter.    

  This weekend the USPGA will see Rory McIlroy return to defend his title but it would be too much to ask that he can come back and win it after being out for almost two months. I think that Jordan Spieth will be there or thereabouts again with Dustin Johnson, Rikki Fowler and Jason Day worth considering too. In any event, Shane Lowry is our latest sporting superstar.