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Ardglass man helps Shane bag the big one

Helping hand: Brian ‘Bo’ Martin
Helping hand: Brian ‘Bo’ Martin
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

While there wasn't a Northern Irish winner of the Claret Jug this year, one local man did play a massive role in helping Shane Lowry win his first Major title - his No.2, friend and caddie, Brian 'Bo' Martin.

A veteran of the professional circuit, the Ardglass man has over 20 years of experience caddying for some of golf's top names, and yesterday he wrote his name into history as a Major winning bag man.

Bo linked up with Lowry last September and since then the Offaly golfer has flourished, winning in Abu Dhabi and recording top-10 finishes in the US PGA Championship and Canadian Open.

But this will obviously go down as their greatest achievement yet, the former Irish Boys international and two-time Ardglass club champion the steady hand at the tiller behind Lowry's stunning Open victory.

"He was unbelievable today. He kept on my back all day, kept talking to me, he kept in my ear," revealed Lowry.

"I kept on telling him how nervous I was, how scared I was, how much I didn't want to mess it up, but he was great at keeping me in the moment.

"He had a baby two weeks ago and his wife drove up today, and his little boy was here. It was amazing.

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"I've known Bo a long time. He's now become a very good friend of mine. And to be able to share it with someone so close was very special, yeah."

The 46-year-old, who currently lives in Dublin, linked up with Lowry just under a year ago after the Irishman's split with long-time caddie Dermot Byrne.

When Bo took over, Lowry was 86th in the world and was questioning his future in the game. Since then he's a two-time winner, one of which is an Open Championship, and when the latest world rankings are confirmed this morning Lowry will be 17th.

A scratch golfer himself, and the uncle of rising Ardglass star Cormac Sharvin, Bo has helped transform Lowry into one of the forces in the world of golf over the last 12 months, and will no doubt be in for a hefty paycheck after this success.

Not only that but the pair have become close friends both on and off the course, with Lowry admitting that without his trusted No.2 he wouldn't be where he is today - sitting at home in Clara, Co Offaly with a Claret Jug for company.

"Bo has been incredible the last year. He started caddying for me about September last year, and just when I started to play well again," Lowry added.

"He's just brought a new lease on life to me. He is so thrilled.

"He's been great for me. Like I said, you see my results since then have been good.

"Obviously we formed a great relationship and it was amazing for him today."

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