The luck of the Irish is the only way to explain Shane Lowry's great fortune on Sunday evening as he qualified for the Accenture World Matchplay thanks to a final hole birdie by Tour rookie Patrick Reed from Texas at Pebble Beach.
Lowry began on Sunday in 64th spot in the world rankings and just holding on to the final spot for the Matchplay but Richard Sterne's win at the Joburg Open saw Lowry relegated to 65th place and out of contention. But then the luck of the Irish kicked in with our man from Texas, and with a name like Patrick what else would you expect?
Phil Mickelson actually had a role in it too, announcing after finishing in Pebble Beach that he didn't intend playing in the World Matchplay as his kids were on spring break and he wanted some family time out. This allowed Lowry back in, but there were at least ten to fifteen players on the course at Pebble Beach who still had a mathematical chance of over-hauling him.
Now I don't pretend for a minute to know how these ranking points work but Reed's birdie on the final hole edged out Sweden's Frederik Jacobsen, who was his last real threat, and so Lowry qualified by 0.00002 of a point for the Matchplay.
Lowry can now raise a toast to Patrick Reed who has just returned from his honeymoon on a cruise ship, where apparently he hit balls every day from a mat on the deck into the ocean to keep his game sharp. His lovely new wife Justine is also his caddy.