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Shane Lowry clinches first Major at The Open at Royal Portrush

By Gareth Hanna at Royal Portrush

Shane Lowry has won The 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

The 32-year-old delivered a controlled performance in stormy conditions on Sunday afternoon, while his nearest challenger Tommy Fleetwood failed to muster enough momentum to really threaten the overnight lead.

Lowry, who carded a one over par 72 to win by seven shots, becomes the fifth Irishman to lift the famous Claret Jug, following in the footsteps of Fred Daly (1947), Padraig Harrington (2007/2008), Darren Clarke (2011) and Rory McIlroy (2014).

It's not only a first major win for the 2009 Irish Open winner, but also for his caddy Brian 'Bo' Martin from Ardglass.

Lowry went into the final day four shots ahead of Fleetwood and relied on a few early missed chances from the Englishman to stay clear.

On the very first hole, Lowry had to chop out of a bunker 30 yards short of the green and, after a nervy first putt, did well to clean up for bogey.

With Fleetwood setting up a very makeable birdie attempt, it had looked like there could be a three shot swing but when the Englishman's putt slid by, the gap was still three.

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The roars on the first tee were that little bit quieter, the nerves that little bit greater, in a crowd mostly supporting the man from Offaly.

On the next two holes, Fleetwood missed similarly gettable putts, one for birdie and one for par, to let Lowry off for his own one over par start, the gap back to four by the fourth tee.

Those let-offs seemed to settle the leader. He would make three birdies in his next four holes after a series of perfectly-placed shots, stretching the lead to six by the eighth tee.

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 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.
Shane Lowry celebrates with the Claret Jug
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 Andrew Redington/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)
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.
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 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 his birdie on the 15th during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire.
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.

The roars were back. The nerves were gone. But not for long on a topsy-turvy afternoon.

Much had been made of the impact the forecasted storms would have and they hit with a vengeance as the final pairing walked down the eighth.

It seemed to rattle the leader more as Lowry would go on to make three bogeys in four holes, including two three-putts. With Fleetwood making one less bogey over that stretch, the lead was five going on to the par five 12th.

It was down a further shot, back to where it was at the day's beginning, a hole later as Fleetwood made a two-putt birdie.

By that stage, the end of The Open had turned into a straight match-play situation, with third-placed Tony Finau way back on seven under par.

That meant that Lowry's bogey five on the week's toughest hole, the par four 14th, felt like a win when Fleetwood could only make six, taking the gap back out to five.

When he birdied the par four 15th, taking his lead to six with just three holes left, the win was all but secure.

His finishing pars were procession holes, as the fans lined all three to salute The 148th Open Champion.

Look back at his round as it happened and follow the reaction right here:

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