Edinburgh man Neil Manchip savours Shane Lowry's 'phenomenal' golf this year

Neil Manchip, Shane Lowry’s trusty long-time coach, reckons the Irishman’s weekend Wentworth win in the BMW PGA Championship was no more than he deserved on the back of “phenomenal” play throughout this year.

Shane Lowry and his coach, Edinburgh man Neil Manchip, celebrate the Irishman winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.
Shane Lowry and his coach, Edinburgh man Neil Manchip, celebrate the Irishman winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.

In holding off fellow major winners Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm on a thrilling final day in the $8 million Rolex Series event, Lowry landed his first victory since a sweet success in the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush.

The one-shot triumph at the iconic Surrey venue came in the first qualifying event in the battle to make Europe’s team for next year’s Ryder Cup in Rome and the quiet Edinburgh man who knows Lowry as well as anyone was there to enjoy it, too.

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“Fantastic golf and bogey-free for the week, which is pretty amazing, even though it was over 54 holes” Manchip, who, in his role as Golf Ireland’s national coach, has worked with Lowry since his amateur days, told The Scotsman.”Very nerve-wracking coming down the last few holes, but superb.

“Shane’s had a couple of tricky ones this year being close to the lead (in events on the PGA Tour) and not winning and missed the FedEx final by a shot. But good things have definitely been coming because his golf has been phenomenal all year.

“He’s been in great form, absolutely loves playing in the BMW PGA Championship and absolutely loves this place. It’s a great way to start the Ryder Cup campaign, which everyone is excited about in Rome next year, and it’s just great to get over the line after a couple of near misses.”

Lowry, now a six-time DP World Tour winner, has never hidden his admiration for Manchip’s input and he spoke warmly once again about their relationship after maintaining a knack of his successes being big ones.

“I have known Neil for over 18 years,” said Lowry of the former Turnhouse member. “It's been a long kind of relationship. We're very close and it's much more of a golf or business working relationship.

“We are very friendly. He probably knows more about me than anybody else. Any time I'm struggling, he knows what I'm doing to get me back.

“I feel like out on tour, it's easy to get distracted by coaches and everything, what everyone else is doing. I feel like if you're good enough to get on tour and you own yourself and commit to that, I feel you'll get further than chopping and changing from coach to coach trying to get better.

“I always say, you very rarely see players under-coached. You see a lot of players being over-coached. Yeah, we keep it simple and have our own way to do it.”

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Manchip, who was wearing bucket hats long before they became trendy in golf, is proud of the pair’s relationship having longevity. “It does mean a lot to me,” he admitted. “I am extremely fortunate to do what I am doing. We have a great time together and enjoy travelling the world together, watching him play and doing so well.

“I think this week especially his putting has been solid, his approach play has been solid, tee to green has been great and to be bogey-free this week was amazing. Just all round very solid and his tactical play was also very good.

“A lot of players talk about it being a difficult course and struggle to get a way around it, but Shane sees it nicely and it just fits his eye.”

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