Congratulations to Shane Lowry on his win at The Open. Raising the Claret Jug is career highlight as this Irishman won in his home country. Royal Portrush played more difficult as the day continue due to inclement weather; yet, Lowry seemed to relish the tough conditions and played very well. With a four stroke lead starting the final round, he never seemed to be in danger of letting the field catch up. It is a great day for Irish golf.
Many pundits suggested that players like Rose, Koepka, and Holmes might have staged a charge, but the could not solve the conditions of high winds and rain. I am not surprised considering how difficult it is for anyone to make a significant charge when all your equipment and hands are wet for most of your round.
During the final round, I noticed that the player that kept the ball in play off the tee shot the lowest score. Given the challenges of the rough and undulations of Royal Portrush, being in play as much as possible was Lowry’s key to winning. With the lower scores shot in the morning due to better playing conditions, it was obvious that the hitting the short grass was critical to great scores.
I particularly liked the 5th hole. It was a 376 yard par 4 that was the epitome of risk/reward. Many of the players needing to make a run hit driver and ‘went for it’! Sergio Garcia is a perfect example. After watching it bounce out of bounds, he reteed and was lying 3 off the tee. It was fun to watch the players hitting the ball 370+ yards hoping for the best. Sounds like a many of my shots off the tee (minus 110 yards of course, haha).
I think Royal Portrush was a perfect location for The Open. It was fair and challenging at the same time. Additionally, the tournament organizers did not have to do anything to the course to make it the perfect venue. Interestingly, I hear the announcers say that the members used mats in the fairway for 9 months prior to the first tee off – now that is dedication to golf.
Congratulations to Shane Lowry on his first Major win. The Open was the perfect event for this Irishman to win!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!