After four days of superb golf, testing conditions and an unrelenting desire to win, Shane Lowry is the winner of the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Lowry held off the challenge of England’s Tommy Fleetwood on the final day to produce an excellent round in trying conditions on the Co. Antrim Links to emerge victorious and lift the much-coveted Claret Jug in front of thousands of adoring fans.
The Offaly man’s success will definitely go down as one of the greatest Irish sporting achievements of this decade and he credited his family and backroom team in an emotional acceptance speech.
“I have so many people to thank really,” Lowry said in the opening of his acceptance speech.
“First of all, the R&A for such a great event, to have an Open Championship here on the island of Ireland in Royal Portrush Golf Club is just amazing. I love this place. It’s one of my favourite places in Ireland. To be able to come up here and play in an Open Championship is great.
“I have a lot of people in my backroom team that I have to thank. My coach, Neil, my caddy ‘Bo’, my management. I definitely wouldn’t be standing here without them. My family, what can I say, my Mum and Dad…they’ve sacrificed so much for me when I was younger and I’m so happy that I can hand them this trophy tonight.
“My wife and my little girl Iris, to have them here today is just extra special.”
Speaking to Sky Sports with the Claret Jug proudly grasped in his right hand, Lowry spoke about how excited he was during the round and how he needed his caddy ‘Bo’ Martin to keep him on track.
“Honestly, it feels like I’m in an out-of-body experience. I was so calm coming down the last hole, I couldn’t believe it. What a day. It was difficult out there. The weather was so hard. I wasn’t going great around the middle of the round but then I had a look at the leaderboard and seen everyone else struggling. Then it kind of turned into a two-horse race for me and Tommy. It was good for me I think. Brooks (Koepka) fell away, J.B Holmes fell away and then Lee (Westwood), you know? I just tried to focus on staying as far ahead as Tommy as I could. Walking down 18…what a day.
“I’ll be really honest with you, I didn’t (stay calm). I talked to ‘Bo’ a lot today. I told him ‘I can’t stop thinking of winning, I can’t stop thinking of holding the Claret Jug’. This is after six or seven holes and he’s like ‘stay with me, just stay with me’ all day. He stayed on me, on my back, kept talking in my ear and he was great. What a job he did today. I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow morning and what it’s going to feel like then. It’s going to be incredible.
“I can’t describe what it was like. The next tournament I’m going to play is probably going to feel boring because this week was just something I’ve never seen on a golf course. They were with me the whole way today. Even when I made those couple of bogeys, they were cheering me on to the next tee. They kept me going, they really did.”