SHANE LOWRY will be feeling on top of the world right now. His victory in his home Irish Open was the stuff that dreams are made of, and he was well worth his place in golfing folklore.
After missing a four-foot putt on the 18th to win in regulation, Shane must have thought the dream was over.
But the young man kept his nerve to edge out Robert Rock in the fourth play-off hole to become only the third amateur to win a European Tour tournament, joining Danny Lee and Pablo Martin in the record books.
The enormity of Shane’s achievement at Baltray should never be underestimated – it’s a quite incredible story.
The big question is what Shane should do now. Naturally, many of his peers will be suggesting he turn professional, but the young man is in absolutely no hurry. I’m sure, after the boost of rising to No168 in the world – ahead of the likes of Montgomerie, McGinley and Thomas Bjorn – Shane will eventually take the plunge, but it’s a decision he needs to think long and hard about.Sympathies for Rock for a second successive runners-up finish, but let’s not be too charitable. Lowry’s amateur status meant he walked home with the €500,000 first prize!
As I speak I’m on route to Beachwood, Ohio, for the first Major of the Seniors Tour season – the US PGA Championship. In general, I’ve been happy with my form so far this season, but after a disappointing couple of days in Mallorca last time out, there are still a few things that need ironing out.
Mark James’ win in Mallorca saw him go ahead of me at the top of the Order of Merit, so that’s something else I’ll be looking to address.