Lowry paints the right picture
Published 14/10/2012 | 18:52
Shane Lowry has became only the second player to win on the European Tour as both an amateur and a professional.
The 25-year-old, who captured the Irish Open in an amazing Tour debut three years ago, lifted the Portugal Masters by a stroke in Vilamoura when England's Ross Fisher three-putted the final hole.
Lowry joins Spaniard Pablo Martin, who won the 2007 Portuguese Open in his amateur days and then the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa two years later.
The shot of the day from Rory McIlroy's stablemate was a seven-iron into the hole for an eagle two at the 11th.
Lowry was one ahead after adding birdies at the 15th and 17th, but prepared himself for a play-off after driving into sand and bogeying the last for a 66 and 14 under par total.
Former Ryder Cup star Fisher was in the group behind and from the fringe of the green left his long birdie attempt - a putt to win the title - five feet short and then lipped out.
Unlike his maiden victory, which earned him nothing because of his amateur status, Lowry this time picked up a cheque for just over £300,000 in addition to the trophy.
"I cannot believe this," he said after coming from four behind Austrian Bernd Wiesberger in the final round. "I can't explain how I feel really. It's a dream come true - I'm over the moon.
Lowry added: "Everyone was referring to me as the fella who won the Irish Open as an amateur, but now I've won such a prestigious event I don't know what to say."