Shane Lowry revealed a pep talk with his coach in a pub was behind his flying start to the Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
The Irishman was the early clubhouse leader after signing for a four-under-par 67 on the Dunluce Links in round one on Thursday, his lowest score in a major tournament.
Lowry had not been happy with his form in practice prior to the final major of 2019, but a heart-to-heart with Neil Manchip put him in the right frame of mind.
“I don’t feel like practice went unbelievably well this week. I felt a little bit uncomfortable,” Lowry said.
“I went to get a coffee down at the Bushmills Inn and we found a little quiet room, we had a great chat for about 40 minutes.
“I left that room full of confidence and ready to go. So, we just put everything out in the open, everything out on the table, what could happen, what might happen.
“To be honest, I really was feeling a bit uneasy about this week yesterday, I’m not going to lie.
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“It was just a great chat. Obviously it would be great to do well this week and great to contend, but it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t happen.
“It’s the British Open, it’s in Ireland. I’m playing well, I feel like I should come up and do well. Why shouldn’t I feel uneasy?
“I’m sure there’s plenty of golfers standing on the first tee feeling uneasy. You wouldn’t be human if you weren’t nervous or uneasy about playing in the biggest tournament in the world.”
Sergio Garcia made a fine start to his Open campaign and by mid-afternoon was among a cluster of players one shot back of Lowry’s score.
The Spaniard has 10 top-10 finishes at The Open and spoke of his love affair for the tournament.
He said: “I’m European, so you always relate to The Open the most and I love the crowds.
“The crowds are so amazing here, so respectful and so excited to watch us play.”