The weather sent scores way over par, but Shane Lowry was able to battle both the inclement conditions at Royal Portrush and the nerves of closing out his first major championship as he shot a final round score of 72 to win the 2019 Open Championship by six strokes. ;
Lowry’s win will ultimately be remembered as much for his Saturday effort than his final round, as the Irishman thrilled the local fans with a third-round 63 that broke The Open’s 54-hole scoring record. The energy and adoration was still there for Lowry on Sunday, but the cushion he had established left room for a few bogeys that were understandable given the conditions
Among the final 12 groups, no one finished only par and the best scores, from Tony Finau and Patrick Reed, were 71s. High winds picked up as the morning turned to afternoon, pushing balls off course and making it nearly impossible to be consistent hitting fairways and greens.
Only 15 players total finished under par with 2018 Open Champion Francesco Molinari posting the round of the day with a 66 on Sunday morning. For Lowry to battle the conditions and the emotions of the moment and finish with a 72 was impressive, bringing a celebratory conclusion to the story of the weekend at Royal Portrush.
Holding on for the win gave Lowry some closure on a journey that started with his 2016 U.S. Open effort at Oakmont. Lowry’s inability to convert on that 54-hole lead left some damage that needed repairing over time, and by his own account it’s been a building block for the confidence and form he carried to Portrush this week.
Now he’s got that first major championship, and this one certainly carries a bit more weight and significance given the connections to the region and the course.
“Golf is a weird sport and you never know what’s around the corner,” Lowry said. “I sat in the car park in Carnoustie, almost a year ago right to this week, and I cried. Golf wasn’t my friend at the time. It was something that become very stressful and it was weighing on me and I just didn’t like doing it. What a difference a year makes.”