Lowry holds nerve to clinch first major title at The Open

Lowry holds nerve to clinch first major title at The Open

Lowry holds nerve to clinch first major title at The Open

Irishman Shane Lowry turned in a solid final round of 72 to secure The Open Championship at Royal Portrush on Sunday, winning the title by six strokes from England's Tommy Fleetwood.

Lowry scored a gritty one-over 72 in demanding conditions, where high winds and intermittent heavy rain made life hard for the field, to seal a six-shot victory from Tommy Fleetwood.

"I spotted my family when I walked around the corner to have a look at the green and I welled up a little bit". "He started caddying for me about September previous year, which is about when I started playing well again. The weather was very bad but I had a look around, and everyone was struggling", said Lowry who was greeted by his family on the green.

One such time Lowry came down on himself was during last year's Open, when he sacked his long-time caddie Dermot Byrne following an opening 74 and went on to miss the cut for the fourth year in succession.

Lowry finished his tournament on 15 under par.

"It was difficult out there, the weather was so hard".

"I think I played a lot of very, very good golf this week".

"Honestly, I feel like I'm in like an out-of-body experience", Lowry told Sky Sports as he reflected on his efforts. It's probably the most uncomfortable I've ever felt on a golf course.

Lowry's win extended the tally of major winners from the isle to 6, with those half-dozen stars accounting for 11 major title wins.

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But once he settled down and looked at a leaderboard he noticed that nobody was making a run at him.

Even three straight bogeys around the turn hardly dented his lead, and a six-foot birdie at the 15th hole that extended his margin to six strokes allowed him to nearly enjoy a processional victory march up the final three holes.

"It was just so hard", he said. I've had a really good feeling all weekend.

After hitting his approach shot to the final hole he held his arms aloft in celebration and hugged his caddie, assured finally that there would be no late disaster.

Players from Ireland and Northern Ireland have won five of the past 13 Opens, with Darren Clarke (2011) and Rory McIlroy (2014) also hoisting the Claret Jug.

A downbeat Tommy Fleetwood is sure he will eventually have plenty of positives to take after his "dream" of winning The Open fell flat on a hard final day at Royal Portrush. "Walking down 18 I could not believe this was happening to me".

"I'm obviously disappointed and a bit low", said the 28-year-old, who was runner-up to Koepka in last year's US Open.

But he was always going to have to settle for second prize, with American Tony Finau third a further stroke behind at seven under after a final-round 71.

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