Shane Lowry focuses on positives after fading at the finish in US Open
Ireland's Shane Lowry had the consolation of achieving two important career goals after the disappointment of missing out on a first Major title in the US Open at Chambers Bay.
Lowry went into the final round just three shots off the lead but paid the price for a slow start and eventually carded a closing 71 to finish in a tie for ninth with World No 1 Rory McIlroy and Australia's Jason Day.
However, the 28-year-old from Offaly gained enough FedEx Cup points to earn special temporary membership of the PGA Tour for the rest of the season, as well as moving back inside the top 50 in the world rankings.
"I feel like I played the golf to really have a chance to win at the end," Lowry said.
"I missed a couple of short putts for par which you can't be doing on the final day of a Major.
"I just didn't really do enough. If I holed a few more putts I would have had a chance coming in on the last few holes.
"But it was a good week for me. I'm back inside the top 50 in the world and a few goals have been reached."
Lowry will take the experience of the week into the Open Championship at St Andrews, with his share of ninth equalling his previous best Major finish at Hoylake last year.
"It was a long morning on Sunday," he added.
"I was awake at 7:30am and not teeing off until almost 2:30pm. You hope to learn from things like that.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my week, to be honest. I loved the golf course, I loved how tough it played. Tough golf courses tend to suit me well.
"Overall I'm pretty pleased with how I played. When you walk away from a Major championship and you feel like you played the kind of golf that could win the tournament, you've got to be happy with yourself."