Lowry revels in Portugal success
The first time Irishman Shane Lowry won on the European Tour he did not receive a penny for it, but on Sunday night he was celebrating a second victory worth more than £300,000.
"Vilamoura will be rocking," Lowry said after beating stablemate Ross Fisher by one at the Portugal Masters to join Spaniard Pablo Martin as the only players to win on the circuit both as amateurs and professionals.
The 25-year-old pulled off one of the biggest shocks ever in golf three years ago when he beat Robert Rock in a play-off at his home Irish Open. It was his first-ever appearance on the Tour, but because he was an amateur it was runner-up Rock who walked off with the £400,000 "first" prize.
Even before going to the Algarve last week, Lowry had earned well over £1million to prove that County Louth was no fluke performance. But he desperately wanted to win in the paid ranks and now he has.
He came from four behind with a closing 66 that included holing a 138-yard seven-iron to the 11th for an eagle two and birdies at the 15th and 17th.
"I cannot believe this. I can't explain how I feel really. It's a dream come true - I'm over the moon," he said.
"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."
Fisher was one ahead with three to play, but bogeyed the 16th. They were back level when Lowry drove into sand and bogeyed the last, but Fisher then three-putted it, his five-footer to force a play-off lipping out.
"Obviously I'm gutted, but you win some and you lose some," said the Englishman, who has not tasted success since his Ryder Cup debut two years ago.
New Zealand's former US Open champion Michael Campbell came third - his best finish for four years after a nightmare slump that took him outside the world's top 1,300.