Before his weekend at Royal Portrush, Shane Lowry asserted, victory or not, he’d still be the same golfer with the same level of fame.
“I’ll be getting on an airplane Monday to go to Memphis, regardless of what happens Sunday,” Lowry said. “There’ll probably be 10 men and a dog following me.”
But then the weekend came, and with it, the claret jug, and it appears Lowry’s schedule has slightly changed. Overnight, Australian time, the Irishman pulled out of the WGC–FedEx St Jude Invitational.
No official word was given for Lowry’s withdraw, but a quick social search reveals a clue…
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 22, 2019
Lowry was expected to celebrate his Open triumph in his hometown of Clara on Tuesday evening. Given the festivities that were likely to ensue, that Dublin-to-Memphis commute would have been an overwhelming test of the somatic and psychological limits.
Prior to his Open breakthrough, Lowry’s lone US PGA Tour victory came at this event when it was known as the Bridgestone Invitational. The tournament has moved from Firestone to TPC Southwind this season, yet still holds World Golf Championship status.
Despite Lowry’s exit, the WGC–FedEx St Jude Invitational includes 45 of the OWGR’s top 50 players. And being a WGC event, there are no alternates so the field size dips from 64 to 63.