Lowry not 'blinded' by spotlight on him in US Open
OAKMONT, UNITED STATES
SHANE Lowry is determined to enjoy his moment in the spotlight as he leads the US Open going into Sunday's final day.
The burly, bearded Irishman showed superb form on Saturday to climb his way past some of the best golfers in the world and take a two-shot lead with four holes to go in his third round when darkness intervened.
Now, he will have to get up at the crack of dawn on Sunday and finish those holes off before regrouping for the final 18.
It is something the 29-year-old from County Offaly, the son of 1982 All-Ireland winning footballer Brendan Lowry, is looking forward to.
"I've been beating myself up over the last six months trying to get in this position," he said.
"I'm here now. I might as well enjoy it while I'm here."
Lowry first made his mark when he won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009 - just the third amateur to win on the European Tour.
The week after that, he opted to turn pro. But he found the going hard at first, his first win coming in the 2012 Portugal Masters.
But his progress has been impressive in the last year based around his breakthrough win at the 2015 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
That proved to him that he had what it takes to compete at the highest of levels.
"It obviously means a lot because I have beat a field of this quality already. So there's no reason I can't go out and do it again tomorrow," he said.
No player from the Republic of Ireland has won the US Open, although Northern Irishmen Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy have both won the tournament in recent years.
To join them, he will need to hold off a talented chasing pack that includes major winners Jason Day and Zach Johnson as well as three players desperate to finally bag a major title in Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson.