Lowry far from complacent a year after first major win

FILE PHOTO: European Tour - BMW PGA Championship - Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Britain - September 20, 2019 Republic of ireland's Shane Lowry during the second round / Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Ireland’s Shane Lowry said on Wednesday that he has not grown complacent in the year since he took home his first major title as he faces stiff competition at this week’s PGA Championship.

Lowry won the 2019 British Open - the last major contended before the new coronavirus hit the sport’s professional calendar in March - but believes his mentality is the same as he faces some of the leading players at TPC Harding Park.

“No matter what happened in the past you’re going out there in any given week just trying to perform your best,” said 33-year-old Lowry. “The only thing I can do this week is go out tomorrow and try and shoot the best score I can.”

He has struggled since the PGA Tour returned from its hiatus in June, missing the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge and RBC Heritage, but his game firmed up last week in Memphis, where he finished sixth at the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational.

“I’ve been playing good golf recently, and I’ve really struggled on the greens. I’ve really struggled with - I’ve been on my own trying to figure it out for myself. I hadn’t seen my coach Neil since March. Hadn’t seen (caddie Bo Martin) since March,” said Lowry.

“Bo just kind of said a couple of things on the putting green at the start of the week and I feel it clicked.”

Lowry is paired with 2019 U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka on Thursday and Friday.

“The best players in the world are here and if one of them brings their ‘A’ game they’re going to be very hard to beat,” he added. “If I can roll a few putts in early this week and get a bit of confidence going, you never know what could happen.”

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Writing by Amy Tennery; Editing by Ken Ferris