by Justin Falconer at Royal Portrush
Shane Lowry celebrates while walking at 18 during The 2019 Open.
For three days it sounded almost too good to be true. But nobody could stop Shane Lowry from Ireland on the way to the Claret Jug in Royal Portrush.
Many expected the pressure of a nation and disgusting, but the textbook links it again to stopping the 32-year-old fairy tale run in Northern Ireland
But Lowry played as a champion on the way to the biggest Open victory since Louis Oosthuizen in 2010.
With a lead of four punches in his back pocket to start the day, a Sunday 72 was exactly what 40,000 raw patrons ordered, Lowry won his first major by six shots over the final round of playing partner Tommy Fleetwood.
Fleetwood started the day four behind his playing partner and missed a golden chance for birdie on the first, with Lowry draining an eight-footer for bogey to ensure that his advantage was reduced to just three.
The Irish nerves were quickly put at ease with Lowry who pulled birdies at four, five and the par-5 seventh to see his lead balloon to a tournament – six high-shots.
The wildest of the weather hit shortly thereafter and while Lowry brought shots back at eight and nine, Fleetwood succumbed at a speed of 40 km / h by a bogey at 10.
The 28-year-old played with a capital letter on the par-5 12th and a birdie there meant that the margin was back to four with six holes to play.
But that was just as good as Fleetwood, a devastating double bogey at 14 got worse when the Irishman stiffened his wedge to par-4 15th, Lowry sinking the bird striker to start the celebrations early.
The Irish crowds flooded the 18th fairway behind Lowry as he embraced his caddy and greeted the crowd.
Fleetwood scored his second second place in a major (2018 US Open) after a Sunday 74 that saw him finish 9-under for the week.
Of the rest, the American Tony Finau was the last man to stand in the treacherous conditions of the afternoon, while his parable helped him close around third at 7-under.
Lee Westwood of England climbed to 10-under in the first nine, but declined when the weather deteriorated and finally closed at 6-under for a share of fifth place with Brooks Koepka (74).
The Australian Cam Smith fought heroically on Sunday and was rewarded with a best career in The Open, the Queenslander who won 76 on a Sunday and finished 5-under in a shared 20th