Shane Lowry shot a one-over 72 to win the Open Championship by six over Tommy Fleetwood.
As the rain fell and the wind howled and so many of the world’s best players faltered, Shane Lowry held his nerve. Now he’s holding the Claret Jug.
The 32-year-old managed a one-over 72 on a brutal weather day at Royal Portrush to complete a wire-to-wire, dominant, and ultimately comfortable victory at the Open Championship.
"I did quite well to be honest, because I got off to a very shaky start," Lowry told NBC after the round. "The crowd were just unbelievable. I didn't feel great out there. It's probably the most I've ever felt on a golf course. You're trying to win an Open in your home country. It's incredibly difficult."
Tommy Fleetwood finished second at 9-under, six shots back of Lowry’s winning total of 15-under 269. Tony Finau nabbed solo third at 8-under, and Brooks Koepka and Lee Westwood were a shot further back in a tie for fourth.
Lowry entered the lead with a four-shot lead after firing a blistering 63 on Saturday, setting the stage for a special afternoon that became a reality. While he is from the Republic of Ireland, south of the border, the Northern Irish fans treated him like one of their own throughout the weekend. They wanted a man from the Irish island to win the first Open in Northern Ireland since 1951, and they let him know it all week.
Buoyed by that support, Lowry overcame an opening bogey and made three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the front nine. From there, he was in firm control of the tournament. And because the conditions kept any of the contenders from going low, Lowry needed only to avoid disaster to claim his first major championship.
"I kept on saying to myself, bogeys aren't going to hurt me" Lowry said. "So let's just keepp the ball in play. And if I make the odd par, it'll be pretty good."
Mission accomplished. When he made mistakes, he made sure he only dropped a single shot—Lowry did not make a double bogey the entire week on a layout brimming with disaster, its trouble exacerbated on a day like Sunday. Only two players in the final top 10 broke par—Robert MacIntyre and Tyrrell Hatton—and both teed off hours before the leaders, when the weather was calmer.
By the afternoon, it was virtually impossible to keep a clean scorecard. Lowry made four bogeys, the last of which came on 14. He followed that up with a birdie on the next hole to push his lead with six to play. After pars on 16 and 17, Lowry’s walk up 18 had the distinct feel of a group celebration. He knew he had won, he knew he had given the fans exactly what they wanted, and he knew he ought to soak in every second of his most magical moment on a golf course.
With his T4 finish, Koepka joins Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods as the only players in the modern era to finish in the top five in each of the four majors. A bogey on 17 kept him from becoming the first player in the modern era to finish in the top three in all four.