Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry bunkered down in US during coronavirus crisis

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McIlroy and Shane Lowry are bunkering down in the States after their schedules went up in smoke.

Two of their main targets this spring and summer – the US Masters and Olympics – have been postponed due to the spread of Covid-19.

With everything called off until the end of May, the Irish Open in Mount Juliet is next on their list.

Although host Graeme McDowell retains some hope that it could be held in some capacity, the odds are on that also being postponed.

The coronavirus is dominating their thoughts, as it is everyone's. 

“You don’t know what the virus is going to do, where it'll end up,” Lowry said.

“Golf is difficult because we're not all based in the same area. 

"When it does come back, will it be difficult for some players from certain countries to get in? That'll have to be taken into account.

“All the players just think it's absolutely mental what's going on – something you never thought you would see in your lifetime.

"But there’s more to life than golf. This gives a lot of perspective.”

In normal circumstances, McIlroy would be gearing up towards his latest major grand slam attempt in Augusta.

Instead, he hasn't picked up a club in two weeks. 

"I love golf and it has given me a lot of really great things, but I think I love the competition more," said the world number one. 

"If there's no competition, then there's nothing to look forward to.

"I'm just enjoying spending some time at home, getting after it in the gym, spending time by the pool or playing tennis.

"I realise there are a lot of us who are very fortunate to have gyms in our house and all sorts of stuff so that we can keep busy."

Shane Lowry
(Image: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

For Lowry and his wife Wendy, the priority is keeping young daughter Irish entertained at their rented Florida residence. The 32-year-old is topping up his golf game at the Bear's Club.  

The Tokyo Games will be their first after both gave Rio a miss four years ago – and Lowry is on board with the decision to move them to 2021. 

“For everybody’s health and safety, the decision to postpone was the right thing,” Lowry told RTE.

“It’s not ideal but, at the end of the day, sport is secondary. It's about taking care of your friends and family."

When golf returns, defending The Open title he won in Portrush will take him to Royal St George's.

“I’d love to defend my title in July," Lowry commented. "If not, I’ll be defending it somewhere along the line. 

"Maybe I’ll have the Claret Jug for a little longer, but it’s all secondary.”

McIlroy, meanwhile, told Sky Sports that he hoped the Masters would be moved to October.

"Potentially, you're looking at four majors, a Ryder Cup and the FedEx Cup in the space of 12 weeks.

"If we all get back to playing around mid-summer, it's going to be hectic."

Lowry revealed his wife may join the battle against the virus if and when they go home.

“Wendy's a nurse," he said. "She'll probably kill me for saying this, but she re-signed some papers to get her nursing status back. 

"If we get home over the next few months, she'll probably go back to help out.

“The amount of people putting in hard hours and long days for the country, it's incredible".

Veröffentlicht am Kategorien Sport