Shane Lowry returns to the course where he kickstarted his campaign with a win two years ago.
The 2019 winner of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship has made his objective for the year very clear, which is to register a win and earn a place on the Ryder Cup team later this year.
“I think if I get another win on the board and head to America in September and win the Ryder Cup, that’s my goal for the year,” the Irishman said ahead of the Abu Dhabi tournament on Tuesday.
“To focus on myself and try and get another win on the board soon enough and then hopefully go to Whistling Straits in September and bring back the Ryder Cup to Europe.
“Obviously I want to make the team but I also want to go out there and win as well, stamp my name on that part of golf.”
By his own admission, Lowry’s squandered his best chance of making a Ryder Cup team in 2016, but he says he is ready to make up for that loss this time around.
“I messed that up myself, let’s be honest,” he said. “The way I am now and the way my career path has gone, I’m more mature and ready to go and take that next step and make the team.
“It’s just up to me to get there my own way, let myself play golf. I know how good I can play, I just need to try and let that happen, keep working hard and hopefully I’m on that plane, not only going there but winning the trophy as well.”
Lowry’s immediate task, however, is to try and win the 2021 European Tour opener in the UAE capital when the action tees off on Thursday.
He forms part of a formidable field that includes fellow major winners Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy.
“It’s obviously nice to come back to a place where you’ve played well in the past,” the reigning British Open champion said.
“It’s always great to have Rory playing on the European Tour – they [the top players] always bring their World Ranking points and a sense of excitement to a tournament and it adds to an event.
“So to have such a good field here is great for the tour and great for Abu Dhabi and HSBC as well.”
Lowry believes his game is in good shape to challenge for the title again but acknowledged that doesn’t always transform into good form on the course.
“I like the tournament and I like the place but I haven’t played a tournament in eight weeks, maybe more,” he added.
“I’m playing nicely in practice so we’ll just have to wait and see, prepare as best I can here and then on Thursday go out and give it my best shot and see where it leaves me.”