Shane Lowry says he's not just along for the ride at this week's Ryder Cup, vowing to play a major part in Europe retaining the trophy.
The Offaly native is one of three rookies on Padraig Harrington's team, and was one of the Dubliner's three captain's picks for the showdown in Wisconsin.
Speaking to the media at Whistling Straits on Wednesday, Lowry says Ryder Cup status means he can view himself alongside some of the greats of Irish golf.
🗣️ "Being a winning #RyderCup captain away is an exceptionally big deal"
Padraig Harrington on @GolfWeeklyOTB speaking about what it would mean to win the Ryder Cup next week.
Sign up here to get the full pod ⬇️https://t.co/nadItYZ6oM
⛳️ with @SkySports pic.twitter.com/ig5lnfDCji
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) September 17, 2021
"Look, you obviously want to win majors and you want to compete at the highest level and golf for the most part is an individual sport," he said, "But as a European player, as an Irish player growing up, you've watched Ryder Cups, obviously Christy [O'Connor] Jr, Philip Walton, Eamonn Darcy, Rory [McIlroy], G-Mac, Paddy [Harrington], Paul [McGinley], Darren [Clarke], all the great Irish players that have played the game.
"For me it was something that I really wanted to do and I felt like I had to do, do you know what I mean, if I want to be up there with those guys when you're talking about really good or great Irish golfers.
"It's something that I felt like I let slip in 2016 and I should have made that team. I didn't play great towards the end of that campaign.
"When I got my chance this year, I felt like I really wanted to take it. Obviously I needed a pick at the end of the day and I'm very grateful that Paddy has put his trust in me. But yeah, it's just something as an Irish player growing up, playing a Ryder Cup is just right up there with everything.
"Obviously now that I'm here, there's only one goal for the rest of the week, and that's to win. That would obviously be the icing on the cake."
Action gets underway on Friday with the morning foursomes, and Lowry is hoping to get his first bite of the Ryder Cup cherry long before the Sunday singles.
Lowry said he's had conversations with European vice-captain Graeme McDowell this week, with the 2010 US Open winner telling him to soak everything in and enjoy the experience.
And the 2019 Open Champion is determined to make the most of his opportunity.
Lowry told the media, "I do believe I'll have a big part to play in this team this week, and I do believe that I can bring a lot when it comes to it on Friday, Saturday, Sunday when push comes to shove in this tournament."
"I just have to be myself," he added.
"I think I was asked about it on the Sunday evening after I got the pick what can I do this week, and I think if I just be myself this week, I think that'll be good enough.
"I'll just go out there and be myself and hopefully pick up some points, and like I say, hopefully win that trophy on Sunday."
UEFA: Weaker teams and women’s game to suffer with biennial World Cup