Shane Lowry closes Claret Jug for first major title

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The 32-year-old weather-beaten weather and the pressure to hold on to a significant night lead defeated Tommy Fleetwood of England by six succeed, with the American Tony Finau third.

He only became the second player from Ireland to win a major after Padraig Harrington won three between 2007 and 2008.

The previous best major finish in the world No. 33 was the second in the US Open in 2016 after taking a four-shot lead the last day.

But not this time.

Lowry seemed insensitive to periods of lashing angel, strong gusts of wind and expectations, both from the inside and from the inside of the feverish fans, who threw him up and down every green and tee.

In combination with caddy Brian "Bo" Martin, he plunged around the celebrated Dunluce left of Portrush and kept his head when he made mistakes and offered no chances for the chase package.

Despite a bogey at the start, he drove clear with six after seven holes and again after 10 and 15.

It had become a two-man race with Fleetwood, who also had a lot of support. given his European Ryder Cup heroic deeds, but one in which the second runner was left behind from the start.

Fleetwood also hunted his first major title after a second place in the 2018 US Open, but he just couldn't get close enough to rattle Lowry.

Lowry & # 39; s father Brendan, a famous Gaelic soccer player, followed within the ropes and watched nervously despite his son's seemingly smooth transition to glory.

"He is the son of everyone in Ireland today," said former European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance on TV commentary.

Laughing and putting his hands in his warmer pockets, Lowry Junior walked to the elevated 18th tee with a six-shot lead and the European Ryder Cup song "ole, ole, ole" is all about him.

His drive cut the fairway and he blew out his cheeks and looked up into the sky.

If the reception for Rory McIlroy after his brave attempt to make the cut Friday, had been emotional, the wall of noise that greeted Lowry was thundering and jubilant

When his second shot the green found, he raised both arms and hugged Martin, finally unlocked a full radiant grin that lit up the otherwise gloomy Portrush afternoon.

Lowry stroked the winning putt and was greeted by wife Wendy and his young daughter on the 18th green, for hugs for the rest of his family and friends.

"Wow," Lowry said after accepting the Claret Jug, "Having an Open at Royal Portrush on the Isle of Ireland is simply amazing."

His eye filled and his voice sounded as he added: "My mother and father have sacrificed so much for me and I am just glad that I can hand them this trophy tonight."

He was also embraced by Portrush local Graeme McDowell, whose success as the winner of the US Open in 2010 played his role for the first time in 68 years in the Open return to Northern Ireland. Portrush-resident Darren Clarke & # 39; s 2011 Open victory and McIlroy & # 39; s four majors were also instrumental when the ghost image of the problems in Northern Ireland withdrew.

Lowry won his first European Tour event when he was still an amateur at the Irish Open in 2009 and placed the last of his four titles in January in Abu Dhabi.

But the Claret can of Open, and first prize of $ 1,935 million, is something he had only dreamed of until now

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