LIV Golf: Shane Lowry 'confident' world's top players will stick with DP World & PGA Tours

Mickelson and Lowry shake hands at the US Open
Lowry played with LIV Golf's Phil Mickelson during the first two rounds of the US Open earlier this month

Shane Lowry says he is "confident" the world's best golfers will remain on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour despite the emergence of the LIV Golf series.

This week, the PGA & DP World Tours strengthened their partnership in an attempt to fight off the "existential threat" posed by the Saudi-funded tour.

But the 2019 Open champion is sure the top players will not be jumping ship.

Ireland's Lowry said he has "no doubt" that the two established tours still have the "best players in the world".

LIV Golf - headed up by former world number one Greg Norman - recently added major champions Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed to a roster that already includes Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Lee Westwood.

Of the new strategic alliance, which brings the two circuits closer together until at least 2035, Lowry said: "I think it shows that the two main tours in world golf are coming together and we still have the best players in the world playing the PGA Tour and the European Tour [DP World Tour].

"I have no doubt about that. If you look at the world rankings and look at the fields and who is playing on those tours week in, week out, you can see where the best golfers are.

"I'm confident that that's where they're going to be playing over the next number of years and I'm delighted to be a part of it."

As part of the new alliance, members of the Wentworth DP World Tour will be able to earn PGA Tour cards if they finish among the top 10 players not already exempt on the European Tour's money list.

They will also guarantee growth in annual prize funds to its membership for the next five years.

The announcement by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour was accelerated because of LIV Golf with the fledgling series' second tournament starting in Portland on Thursday.

Lowry, 35, is back home for this week's Irish Open at Mount Juliet in Co Kilkenny as he ramps up his preparations for The Open at St Andrews in July.

While Lowry missed the cut at this month's US Open, the world number 24 has six top-20 finishes in America this year and hopes to use his encouraging form as a platform in his bid for a second Irish Open title, having won his first as an amateur in 2009.

"I've been really solid, really consistent and I've enjoyed my year so far.

"I'm missing one thing, I'm missing a win and I'd give nothing more than for that to be this week in Kilkenny."

Watch Irish Open highlights at 22:30 BST on BBC One Northern Ireland on Sunday, 3 July.

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