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Shane Lowry storms to Open title at Royal Portrush

The Irishman was roared on by a sell-out crowd as he secured his first major crown.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry exorcised the ghosts of Oakmont to claim his first major title in commanding fashion in the 148th Open at Royal Portrush.

Roared on by a sell-out crowd undeterred by the miserable conditions, Lowry carded a closing 72 to become the fifth Irish player to lift the Claret Jug after Fred Daly, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

The 32-year-old from Offaly finished 15 under par, six shots ahead of England’s Tommy Fleetwood, with American Tony Finau two strokes further back in third.

World number one Brooks Koepka, who was attempting to become the first player in the modern era to finish in the top two in all four majors in a calendar year, had to settle for a share of fourth with Lee Westwood, a result which secured the 46-year-old a first Masters appearance since 2017 next April.

Three years after failing to convert a four-shot lead in the final round of the US Open at Oakmont, Lowry took the same advantage into the last day of the first Open staged outside Scotland or England since Max Faulkner triumphed at Portrush in 1951.

Looking understandably nervous, Lowry pulled his opening tee shot and looked on anxiously as his ball headed towards the internal out of bounds which had cost pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy so dear on Thursday.

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Shane Lowry is cheered on by thousands of fans in Northern Ireland (Niall Carson/PA)

Similarly errant drives had also led to double bogeys for Rickie Fowler and JB Holmes, but Lowry’s ball was poorly struck and plunged into the rough, from where he found a greenside bunker with his approach.

Fleetwood had found the fairway off the tee and hit a superb second shot to six feet, but missed his birdie attempt and, after a mediocre bunker shot and timid putt, Lowry held his nerve to hole from five feet for just his fourth bogey of the week.

The lead was back to four shots when Fleetwood, who also missed a good birdie chance on the par-five second, bogeyed the third and Lowry moved further clear with a birdie on the fourth which was greeted with a massive cheer from the crowd.

Both players birdied the short fifth before Lowry demonstrated the short-game skills honed in chipping competitions against Harrington by getting up and down from short of the seventh green to pick up another shot.

PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry during a press conference after winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Pic: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Open Champions Shane Lowry gets his hands on the Claret Jug
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Open Champion Shane Lowry celebrates with the Claret Jug, wife Wendy and daughter Iris.
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Shane Lowry celebrates with the Claret Jug
Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates with Claret Jug after winning The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates with Claret Jug after winning The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrate winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates with Claret Jug after winning The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Shane Lowry finally gets his hands on the Claret Jug.
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland smiles on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Shane Lowry celebrate winning the Claret Jug Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrate winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates on the 18th during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire.
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates winning the Claret Jug with wife Wendy Honner and kid during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates after winning the British Open golf Championships at Royal Portrush golf club in Northern Ireland on July 21, 2019. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates after winning the British Open golf Championships at Royal Portrush golf club in Northern Ireland on July 21, 2019. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Shane Lowry has won The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Shane Lowry enjoyed a four shot lead on the 14th tee of his final round.
Shane Lowry opened up with a level par front nine to close in on his first major title at the Open Championship.
Shane Lowry of Ireland reacts to his birdie putt on the fourth during the final round of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Shane Lowry in the rough on the 1st during day four of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush (David Davies/PA)
Shane Lowry begins the final round of The Open Championship with a four shot lead.
Graeme McDowell's final round is under way.
Shane Lowry enjoyed a four shot lead on Saturday evening.

Lowry, who won the 2009 Irish Open as an amateur in similarly poor weather, looked in total control before a combination of three bogeys in the next four holes and Fleetwood’s birdie on the 12th cut the gap to four.

However, Fleetwood could not turn the screw and double bogeyed the 14th after finding sand off the tee, meaning Lowry increased his lead to five despite failing to save par from over the green.

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Shane Lowry with his wife, Wendy, and daughter, Iris, after winning The Open (Richard Sellers/PA)

Lowry, who sacked his caddie after the first round of last year’s Open and missed the cut for the fourth year in succession, had the title in his grasp and a birdie on the 15th had chants of “Ole, Ole, Ole” ringing out around the Dunluce Links.

It also meant Lowry’s name was etched on the Claret Jug by the time he stepped on to the 18th tee and a regulation par sealed an emphatic triumph, Lowry hugging his caddie Brian ‘Bo’ Martin before being embraced by wife Wendy and two-year-old daughter Iris.

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