Local amateur Lowry stuns pros at Irish Open

Irishman Shane Lowry may have missed a four-foot putt in typical amateur fashion – after all, he is an amateur. But that did not stop him from getting the better of the pros in the Irish Open.

The 22-year-old Lowry became only the third amateur to win a title on the European Tour when he beat Englishman Robert Rock on the third extra hole at Baltray.

On the final hole, the five-plus handicapper hit the ball to four feet. But soon after acknowledging the crowd, he was filled with embarrassment as he putted wide. He was given another chance, though, in the play-off.

Rock missed a nine-footer in the first extra hole and two holes later, both at the 18th, the Englishman failed to get up and down in recording a six as Lowry made himself eligible for the 500,000-euro first prize but was forced to decline because of his amateur status.

According to reports, he was to decide on Monday whether or not to turn professional, noting he would be “mad not to” consider the prospect.

The former Walker Cup representative, who is the son of a famous Irish Gaelic football player, gave notice of his potential by shooting 62 on Friday in his first-ever Tour event. He said on the European Tour website:

“I can’t believe it – this is going to take a long time to sink in. I know my life is about to change forever. I’m feeling shock more than anything. I got an invite here, it’s my first tournament and I would have been happy to make the cut. But then I shot the 62 and after that I thought ‘this is my week – I can win’. And I did!”

Lowry and Rock closed with 71s to finish on 17-under-par 271 for the tournament, two ahead of Sweden’s Johan Edors, who also had a 71 on the final day.

England’s Nick Dougherty and Scottish player Marc Warren were tied for fourth on 275 while another Scot, Alastair Forsyth, was alone on sixth at 276.

Lowry could be taking part in Wentworth this week at the BMW PGA Championship should he decide to take the plunge and go pro.

There was play-off drama on the US PGA Tour as well, with former US Masters winner Zach Johnson successfully defending his title at the Valero Texas Open.

Johnson beat fellow American James Driscoll in the play-off for his second victory of the season. Johnson closed with an even-par 70 while Driscoll surged into play-off contention after his brilliant eight-under round of 62.

However, Driscoll couldn’t sustain his long-putting antics in the play-off as Johnson birdied the first extra hole to seal victory.

Bill Haas and Paul Govdos were tied for third on 266 while four players – Brian Davis, of England, Australian Marc Leishman, Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobsen and American Justin Leonard – were joint fifth.

On the LPGA Tour, South Korean Oh Ji-young shot two-under 70 in the final round for a total of 14-under 274 and victory at the Sybase Classic in Clifton, New Jersey.

She was four strokes ahead of Suzann Pettersen while Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie were tied for third, a further four strokes adrift.

On a cold, windy day that made scoring difficult, Pettersen closed with 74. Wie and Creamer each scored 73 on the final day.

2 Responses to “Local amateur Lowry stuns pros at Irish Open”

  1. Larry Quah says:

    Great job for an amateur! Keep up the fervour, Shane!

  2. Patrick Farrell says:

    Best each way bet in a long time.

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