US Open Each-Way Tips: Lowry's major approach is spot on

Shane Lowry golfer
Shane Lowry loves a major test.

The third major championship of the year heads to California and European Tour tipster Matt Cooper has two European each-way selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying 10 places...

"He’s made the weekend in nine of his last 10 majors, starting the run with T12th at the 2018 PGA Championship before adding three top 10s including that famous win at Royal Portrush."

Shane Lowry each-way @ 31.030/1

Main Bet: Shane Lowry 1pt each-way @ 30/1

Last month's PGA Championship was something of a frustration for this column.

We had two enormous-priced outsiders flirt a little with the lead early in the week and then the main bet played supremely from tee to green, but couldn't buy a putt.

Vexing for those who followed, but a bigger irritation for the man himself, Shane Lowry, you'd think and true enough, days later, he went on an Open media zoom call and revealed he really did have a good week.

"I'm delighted with finishing fourth," he said. "But I was quite disappointed leaving because it's a tournament I could have won. The greens were hard to read. Even on 18 on Sunday, I misread by a cup from eight feet and yet it felt like a decent putt. It was that type of week."

The good news was that he had a lid on the let-down and was actually very bullish about his performances in the majors.

"I feel like I'm playing the big events really well in recent years," he said. "I'm finding my A game or somewhere near my best in them.

"I love Major Championships. I love big weeks. It's the atmosphere.

"I'm also 34 now and I'm maturing. When I get to the big weeks I know what happens. You have tough runs, when you minimise the damage, then you have good runs. When you have the good runs you have to make the most of them, take advantage. I did that last week."

The numbers back him up. In the early part of his career he had highlights - three top 10s, including two in this championship - but he also missed a lot of cuts.

However, he's made the weekend in nine of his last 10 majors, starting the run with T12th at the 2018 PGA Championship before adding three top 10s including that famous win at Royal Portrush.

Before that week of "what if" at Kiawah Island he finished T21st at Augusta National and he wasn't overlooking its significance. "I felt like I played great at the Masters," he said of his career-best effort there.

His form this year has been really solid. He was tied eighth at THE PLAYERS Championship and since the Masters he's landed three top 10s in four starts: tied ninth at Harbour Town and tied sixth last time out at Muirfield Village sitting alongside the PGA Championship effort.

"We have a family base in the States now," he explained on that zoom call. "That helps me on the PGA Tour and in the big events. It's definitely helped my form at the moment.

"My game has matured and so have I. 90% of my game is consistent at the moment. Only my putting is lacking. If I can add that, I can contend. That's the buzz, that why I get up every morning. Hopefully I can give myself more chances in the next couple of years."

He also has a bit of Torrey Pines form. Not a lot (a fast-finishing tied seventh on debut in 2015, T13th a year later), but enough.

Five years ago he held a four-shot 54-hole lead in this tournament, but that first experience in the heat of major championship battle was a tough one.

He's an older, wiser and medalled golfer now. He can go close again.

Final Bet: Matthew Southgate 0.5 pt each-way @ 500/1

Just a second European selection this week and, in another repeat of the Kiawah Island picks, it's a big-priced one so stake accordingly.

But while I'm not over-keen on the European challenge beyond Lowry, I do wonder if Matthew Southgate can once again show a certain fondness for the big occasion.

Back in 2016 he finished T12th at Royal Troon in the Open and a year later he was tied sixth at Royal Birkdale.

matthew southgate vallda.jpg

That he should shine on the linksland was no surprise: he's been a member at Carnoustie since he was 16, he was a winner of the St Andrews Links Trophy, one of his strongest early European Tour efforts was in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart, he's finished top five in the Irish Open at Portstewart, is a minor tour winner at Royal St George's, and was second in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

But he also likes a bit of pomp and circumstance, he adores the history of the game (his family took holidays to the Open every year, as a boy he sat yards from a flapping Jean Van de Velde at the famous Carnoustie Open of 1999), he loves playing with and around the big names.

And when he got the chance to play in the States a few years back, off his good result at Royal Birkdale, he very nearly pinched a PGA Tour card at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.

He's also found a bit of form, chasing the win last week in the European Open before finishing tied second.

Torrey Pines is not linksland. But it's by the sea, the turf will run fast, and that might fire the right neurons in this Essex brain.

With place terms offering a return on a top ten he's an outsider I believe has it in him to give us a good run and maybe even do a Kenneth Ferrie at the US Open (the Geordie played in the last group, in the final round, at Winged Foot in 2006).

MATT'S 2021 P/L

Staked: 98pts
Returned: 157pts
P/L: +59pts

2020 P/L: -32pts

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