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Shane Lowry on Ryder Cup critics: ‘If I shut a few people up, so be it’

Oh, Shane Lowry has definitely heard the chatter.

Should Lowry, who until Sunday didn’t have a top-10 anywhere since the Honda Classic in February, have been tabbed as one of Luke Donald’s six captain’s picks for the European Ryder Cup team? In Lowry’s mind, the answer doesn’t concern him.

“I know there was a little bit about that last week and me, and – need to be careful here – [it] didn’t sit very well with me to be honest,” Lowry said. “I feel like, yes, my results have not been amazing this year, but I feel if you purely go down to statistics and go down to the 12 best players in Europe, I’m one of them. And I feel like I deserve my place on the team.”

Lowry went 1-2 in his Ryder Cup debut two years ago at Whistling Straits, and he’s now dropped to No. 32 in the Official World Golf Ranking after ranking inside the top 20 earlier this year. Lowry’s inclusion on the 12-man European side for Rome came at the expense of, most notably, Poland’s Adrian Meronk, who has won twice on the DP World Tour this season, including the Italian Open at Marco Simone, the Ryder Cup venue.

But for all the Lowry doubters, they lost some ammunition this past Sunday when Lowry tied for third at the Horizon Irish Open, his best finish since his victory at last year’s BMW PGA Championship, where he’s defending this week at Wentworth.

“I didn’t feel like I had to go out and prove anything to anyone last week,” Lowry said. “The Irish Open is important to me and a tournament I wanted to play well in. If I shut a few people up, so be it, but I wasn’t trying to do that last week. I wasn’t trying to finish third last week. I was trying to win last week. So, last week was disappointing for me.

“This week is the same. I’m trying to win the tournament here this week. I know I deserve to be on that team, and I know I’ll be good in Rome in a couple weeks, and I’m very excited for it.”

Asked Tuesday what he brings to this year’s European squad, Lowry wasted no time.

“I think I’m a good player for a start,” he said. “I think I’m not going to be afraid of anyone that comes to stand on first tee in two weeks’ time. I think I’ll be good for the rookies. I think I’ll be good for team morale or in the team room. I think, you know, I’ll be passionate. I’ll show my emotions. I’ll enjoy myself.”

And he won’t care if some people think he shouldn’t be there.