Open win at Portrush still fresh in Shane Lowry’s mind

The Offaly man will return to the course for the 2025 renewal

Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush
Pictured is 2019 Champion Golfer of the Year Shane Lowry supporting R&A’s launch of the ticket ballot for The 153rd Open at Royal Portrush, taking place in July 2025. The ticket ballot will open from July 1 to 31 2024. The ticket ballot is available exclusively to members of One Club, the free-to-join digital membership programme. Fans can sign up to One Club at any time. (David Davies/PA)

SHANE Lowry will rekindle his love affair with Royal Portrush when the Open Championship returns to the north coast next July.

His 2019 success was one for the ages but unfortunately, the impact was somewhat lost in the subsequent Covid years.

With the tournament a little over 12 months away, Shane has welcomed the chance for a spot of reminiscing.

“I think the Saturday evening was probably the most special couple of hours I’ve ever had on the golf course to be honest,” said the Clara golfer, who will tee it up in the US Open at Pinehurst next week.

“You know, playing in the Open in your home country is very special, but to be kind of going around the back nine a Saturday afternoon shooting an unbelievable score. And then finishing the way I did.

“I think my four iron to the 16th hole. You know, when you visualise shots a lot of times they don’t come off but this was exactly what I’d drawn up.

“I birdied that hole which, you know, that hole is not called Calamity for nothing. It’s a very tough par three. And when I birdied that and then I birdied 17, to be honest, at that stage, I felt like I could birdie every hole.

“Those few hours on Saturday evening were the most special. And you know, when you hit shots like that under pressure it kind of gives you the confidence to go ahead and do what I did on Sunday.”

Lowry’s hometown famously emptied on the Saturday and Sunday of the 2019 Open Championship as family and friends scrambled to see him get over the line at Royal Portrush. One friend even went as far as hiring a small private plane to fly from Kerry just to make sure he didn’t miss the moment.

“That was the coolest thing for me about Portrush to be honest,” added Shane.

“And that was the great thing about playing at home. You know, if I was playing across in England or Scotland my mom wouldn’t have been able to come over on the Sunday. So yeah, to have my mom there and have people there at the back of the green was very special.

“With a home crowd you know, you feel the expectation and as the week went on, the crowds got bigger and bigger.

“I believe that day [Sunday] on the course I was mentally as good as I have ever been. I remember I said to Neil [Manchip] that morning, ‘I have no choice but to go out and win’, the level of expectation is through the roof.

“And look, when we go back next year there’s going to be a level of expectation for me again but the expectation levels I have for myself are more than anyone will ever have for me. You just have to deal with it and figure out a way to get on with it and just go and play your game and see what happens.”