PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — The silver claret jug is staying on the Emerald Isle after Shane Lowry captured the first British Open to be held in Northern Ireland since 1951.
Lowry endured the worst weather of the tournament, along with the Sunday pressure of a sellout crowd cheering him along to win the final major of the year by six shots at Royal Portrush. The 32-year-old closed with a 1-over 72, the first time since 1996 the Open champion was over par.
Amid rain and strong wind, Lowry began making bogeys in the middle of the round without losing ground as no one from the last 12 groups broke par. Lowry was no worse than three shots ahead all day as he wrapped up his first major championship.
Lowry’s 15-under total was far better than runner-up Tommy Fleetwood, whose double-bogey on 14 left Lowry without a serious challenger.
Brooks Koepka just missed becoming the first player to finish in the top three in all four majors during a calendar year. Tony Finau finished third at 7 under, one ahead of Koepka and Lee Westwood. Koepka opened with four straight bogeys in a 74.