July 23, 2024

This week, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are competing in the Zurich Classic. Previously, a PGA Tour player had extended multiple invitations for McIlroy to participate in the competition.

Before making his debut in the Zurich Classic this week, Rory McIlroy has disclosed that he declined multiple offers from Bubba Watson to compete with him.

Having never added the tournament to his schedule, McIlroy is competing in the pairs event in New Orleans with his Olympic teammate Shane Lowry. When McIlroy was asked if he had ever come close to competing in the Zurich, LIV Golf star Watson revealed that he had. This was after McIlroy arrived on site at TPC Louisiana this week.

“Yes, several individuals have questioned me throughout the years,” the four-time major winner admitted this week. “For years, Bubba Watson persistently asked me to play this with him, but I graciously turned him down each time.

This is my fourth week in a row; it’s not like I haven’t played four weeks in a row before, but for my fourth tournament in a row, I thought it would be a good idea to do something like this that is a little more laid back and less pressure.” “I guess it never lined up with my schedule and just wasn’t.”

Nevertheless, the Northern Irishman is comfortable with the New Orleans course this time around and is accompanied by his close friend Lowry. The two, who were on Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup squad in Rome last autumn, disclosed that their decision to enter this week was sparked by an evening spent commemorating their triumph over their American opponents.

“I didn’t think Rory would want to come and play, so I basically didn’t want to ask him,” Lowry disclosed. “He was the one who told me that later, and I said, “Absolutely.” Yes, we did discuss it; I recall Rory mentioning that on the Wednesday following the Ryder Cup, we enjoyed a few pleasant drinks together.

“It was a lovely little Christmas present for me to receive, and we talked about it that day. Later, around Christmastime, he texted me. Yes, I’m glad to have him here with me. I am looking forward to this week because I enjoy playing golf from the middle of the fairway.” Following their first round together, McIlroy and Lowry have shown promise as a partnership.

In the tournament’s opening round on Thursday, which uses a better ball format where each player plays their own ball and the best combined score counts toward the scorecard, the two shot a bogey-free 11-under-par 61. The second round on Friday had a slightly more difficult format because both players play the same ball and alternate shot is used.

They then followed up with a two-under 70 in the second round to tie David Lipsky and Aaron Rai for the clubhouse lead at 13 under. For the third round on Saturday, players will once again use the better ball format. On Sunday, for the last 18 holes, they will once again use alternate shot.

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