Bubble life can aid title defence, says British Open champ Lowry

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Ireland's Shane Lowry
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Shane Lowry believes life in the coronavirus bubble at the British Open could aid his defence of the title this week.

Ireland's Lowry won the British Open at Royal Portrush in 2019 and hopes to retain the Claret Jug after last year's tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic.

With Covid cases on the rise again in Britain, tournament organisers recently informed players that the British Open will "operate under strict government oversight".

Guidelines will prohibit players from going to bars, restaurants and supermarkets during the week.

They have to stay in approved hotels or private accommodation, which can be shared between up to four members of their team, although not with other players.

"It's a bubble, but I don't think I'll be doing anything different than I normally do," Lowry said.

"I come to the golf course, I play and I go home and we have dinner in the house, and that's it. You don't do anything else the week of big tournaments.

"You're kind of resting up as much as you can, and you're obviously here playing and practising all day, every day when you're here.

"I reckon if it was a normal Open and I was defending I might have a couple more things to do, so it probably is working in my favour a little bit as regards my performance."

Lowry missed the cut in three of his first five events when the PGA Tour resumed following the coronavirus shutdown last year.

Twelve months on, the 34-year-old comes into the event on the back of a tie for fourth in the US PGA Championship, another top-10 finish in the Memorial Tournament and a tie for 23rd in the Irish Open after a closing 66.

"I feel like 2020 is a bit of a write-off for me. Obviously my form is pretty decent coming in this year and I'm really looking forward to the week ahead," he said.

"I hope that I can be competitive. I'd like to put up a good defence of my trophy and I'd give anything to have a chance to win come the weekend. I'm out there planning for that over the next few days, and we'll see how it goes.

"I've defended tournaments before, but I've never come and defended a tournament of this magnitude. But at the end of the day it's another golf tournament, it's another major.

"I've got a lot more on my mind, a lot more to play for than just defending the trophy. I'll be happy to get that first tee shot away, and if you've seen the rough down the first hole, I'll be even happier if it's on the fairway."

smg/bsp

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