Irishman Shane Lowry won his maiden major championship and there couldn’t have been a better place to win it! The Open Championship returned to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years, so to win a major only a few hundred kilometres from your home town made the victory that much more special. And Lowry did it in style, starting his final round with a four shot lead to win comfortably by six shots from runner up Tommy Fleetwood.
The highlight of the tournament was Lowry’s third round, where he set a new course record with an almost inconceivable eight under 63, opening up a four shot lead heading into the final day.
The final day was played in very difficult conditions, meaning Lowry just needed to record a score close to par in order to win the Claret Jug. And that’s exactly what unfolded. Only a few players in the field during the final round broke par. America’s JB Holmes fired a horrific sixteen over including a 46 on the back nine. Many players shot five over par or worse. Lowry shot a one over par 72 and actually extended his overnight lead to win by six shots.
It wasn’t a great tournament for the six Australians in the field – our smallest contingent at the event for many years. Only Cameron Smith made the Cut and after a third round 71 he was eyeing a top 10 finish or better. However a closing five over 76 saw him slip back to T20.