Portrush Open hero Lowry reveals: I was so scared of messing up
New Open champion Shane Lowry revealed yesterday how he used an old reliable to surge to Major glory at Royal Portrush - a mortal fear of failure.
The Offaly man (32) romped to a glorious, six-shot win in The Open to claim his maiden Major title just over three years after the US Open slipped through his fingers at Oakmont in Pittsburgh.
And it was his fear, not that he was not good enough but that the fates might conspire against him, that gave him a sleepless night as he prepared to take another four-shot lead into the final round.
"I told him I was so scared about messing it up," he revealed of his riverside walk with coach Neil Manchip in Bushmills on Sunday morning.
"I'd say I was more scared than having doubt in my head. I really, really wanted to win this one. I felt like it was my time to go and get it."
His caddie, Brian 'Bo' Martin, from Ardglass, who shared in Lowry's £1.5m payday, put it better, saying: "The golf he's been playing, it's been flawless, really. He doesn't have to prove to anybody that he's a good player. But he had to prove it to himself, genuinely."
Lowry woke up with the Claret Jug in the bed beside him and cheekily posted a picture on social media: "I pulled last night."
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His fans will be hoping he can "pull again" but Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington does not believe The Open is a stepping stone for Lowry simply because there is no greater achievement in golf.
"This isn't a catalyst - this is it," Harrington said. "This is what it is. You shouldn't think of this as a stepping stone, you should think of this as where he is. I don't think too many players in the game of golf would relish playing against him in the final rounds."
Lowry has similar feelings and he's determined to push on now, insisting: "Obviously in the short-term I'm going to enjoy this, there's no doubt about that. But in the long-term you obviously want to back up your success."
Lowry will have a triumphant homecoming in home town Clara this evening. He basked in his victory yesterday as he was joined by family and friends to celebrate in a number of Dublin venues. The famed Claret Jug was close to hand as he was mobbed by wellwishers.
Experts have predicted that Lowry's earning potential will increase massively following his victory at Portrush. And tonight he will get a hero's welcome when he brings the Claret Jug back to Clara GAA Club.