Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

Justin Rose has thrown his full support behind Shane Lowry after the Irishman launched a bullish defence of his place at the Ryder Cup.

Lowry’s inclusion as one of Luke Donald’s six wildcard picks last week was contentious in the eyes of many European fans, given Adrian Meronk’s pedigree at Marco Simone and the captain’s assertion that his selections would be made based on form.

Before last week’s T3 finish at the Irish Open, Lowry had not posted a top-10 in any tournament since February.

• Shane Lowry takes aim at Ryder Cup critics

• Dustin Johnson: I deserved Ryder Cup place

But his rut has not deterred Donald, who sided with the 2019 Champion Golfer over Meronk, despite the Pole winning this year’s Italian Open at the Ryder Cup venue.

“I know I deserve to be there,” Lowry insisted, responding to backlash over his pick before showing more promising signs by starting with a three-under par 69 opening round in defence of his BMW Championship title.

The people who knew what they were talking about know I deserve my place, so anyone else doesn’t really matter.”

And Rose, who will be making his sixth appearance in the biennial dust-up just outside Rome, believes his fellow captain’s pick deserves more recognition for holding his own out on the PGA Tour.

Rose feels Lowry’s results Stateside – including top-20 finishes at the Masters, PGA Championship and US Open – have not been acknowledged.

“Shane’s a bit of a late bloomer for the Ryder Cup,” Rose, now the elder statesman in the European locker room, told at Wentworth.

“It’s surprising he’s only played one so far. He hasn’t had his best year but people have got to realise how tough it is out on the PGA Tour.

• Justin Rose rehires ex-caddie ahead of the Ryder Cup

• US Ryder Cup team wanted LIV golfer to be picked

“Shane’s a really good player and he’s put on a lot of good performances in majors and finishing 20th in big events, people think, ‘Oh, he’s not playing great.’ That’s fricking good golf!

“The margin of competing at the highest level is so small. He comes back, plays European Tour and finishes [third] and you can see how easily done it is in America to not have your big weeks.

“I actually think he’s played fine this year but he’s just not had the results to back it up.”

While Lowry’s pick may have caused controversy, the selection of Ludvig Aberg has sparked only feverish excitement – even among the stars.

The astonishing rise of Aberg has seen the 23-year-old evolve from an unproven amateur to the most inexperienced player in Ryder Cup history – all in the space of three months.

The Swede only joined the paid ranks in June, but had long since been tracked by Donald and remarkably looked nailed on to make the team even before winning the Omega Masters, the final Ryder Cup qualifying event at Crans-Sur-Sierre.

“I really only started hearing him in the summer,” Rose explained as he watched Aberg practice on the range. “He played the group behind me at the Canadian Open and I kept looking back and there was this ball miles down the middle of every fairway so that really caught my eye.

“His consistency really week in, week out and we’re happy he was able to get a win under the belt and that will hopefully take the pressure of him going into Rome.”

author headshot

Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses