News & ToursMay 18, 2009

Is the Walker Cup just an exhibition, too?

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy made news last week when he downplayed the importance of the Ryder Cup and labeled it an exhibition. In a curious turn, his friend Shane Lowry now has to decide whether the Walker Cup is important enough to him to postpone turning professional for four months.

"He has nothing left to do as an amateur," McIlroy said, indicating his position.

Lowry, a 22-year-old Irish amateur, won the 3 Irish Open on the European PGA Tour on Sunday, piquing his interest in turning pro immediately. But Colin Dalgleish, the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup captain, is urging him to wait.

"The Walker Cup is in four months' time, he has always wanted to play in it, it is the pinnacle of amateur golf and it would be a great thing to sign off on, whereas anything he does in the immediate future on the European Tour is going to be an anticlimax," Dalgleish told the Herald.

The Belfast Telegraph, meanwhile, is reporting that Lawry is likely to turn pro immediately. "I can't really see myself playing amateur golf after what's happened over the weekend," he told the paper. "I think it would be a big step down and I wouldn't have any interest in it really."

The Telegraph reported that "Lowry was about to join Graeme McDowell, Michael Hoey and England's Ross Fisher in the star-studded stable at Dublin firm, Horizon Sports Management."

Should Lowry follow the money, it will have been a bruising week for two of golf's most prestigious cups.

-- John Strege

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