Down to earth: How Wendy helped Shane become a Major winner

There is something truly refreshing about a modern-day mystery.

Wendy Lowry is married to superstar golfer Shane and found herself propelled head-first into the spotlight this week after his historic Open win.

The woman who prioritises her privacy above all else was suddenly one of the most talked-about people in Ireland.

The fact that she has chosen to be such a discreet presence during his burgeoning career is a conscious one. There are plenty of opportunities to step to the fore and soak up the interest that comes with being married to a superstar, but that’s not Ms Lowry.

First and foremost, she’s a devoted wife and mother to Iris (2). Even her personal Instagram page is a love letter to her family, featuring either pictures of Shane and Iris, with just a handful of her facing the camera. Last Sunday, she had fewer than 2,000 followers, now she has more than 10,000.

She met Shane on a “random night out” in 2012 at an undisclosed location and the only hint he gave about their love story’s origins was that it wasn’t Coppers.

Their 2016 wedding was treated with the same secrecy, at her request. By choosing New York as their wedding destination, they ensured they had complete anonymity.

This type of subtlety would inform much of her relationship with the public. She is a trained nurse who, like many partners of golf players, travels with Lowry around the world for competitions.

And while there has always been an interest in her, she understands the difference between success and fame and avoids the latter at all costs, in direct contrast to the likes of Coleen Rooney.

Understated style is her signature, shunning blinging jewels in favour of timeless pieces, including her solitaire diamond engagement ring, coupled with a diamond wedding band.

The focus on her jewels at Lowry’s homecoming was made all the more charming by the fact that her white shellac nail polish was chipped – presumably from biting them with anxiety during her husband’s performance – and she wasn’t overly concerned with missing a manicure appointment when there were celebrations to be had.

She wore a gingham blazer from Zara, confirming her girl-next-door image.

The role women play in golf shouldn’t be underestimated: Lowry himself praised his wife for her enduring support during the celebrations in Clara.

“There were plenty of times I have been crying myself to sleep or wondering am I able to keep going but when you have a good, strong woman behind you it makes it easier,” he said. “I owe a lot to her.”

Golf has been searching for a wholesome family to act as unofficial ambassadors for years and the fact that the couple’s delightfully down-to-earth personas are filling that vacuum is made all the sweeter in Ireland.

Rory McIlroy is married to Erica Stoll, a former PGA employee from New York, and Graeme McDowell is with Florida native Kristin Stape. So there’s a clear opening for an all-Irish couple the whole country can continue to get behind.

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