Shane Lowry pays tribute to Berkeley victims, returns to world's Top 50 and earns PGA Tour Card
He may not have been able to eclipse the heroics of Jordan Spieth but it has been a highly profitable week for Offaly's Shane Lowry at Chambers Bay.
The Offaly man, who wore black all week in tribute to the six Irish students who died in the balcony collapse in Berkeley, went into yesterday's final round in Washington just three shots off the lead and within touching distance of a maiden major title.
When it came to the crunch, Lowry's putter went cold and he finished with a final round of 71 to finish on level par in a share of ninth position along with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.
However, the 28-year-old from Offaly gained enough FedEx Cup points to earn special temporary membership of the PGA Tour for the rest of the season, as well as moving back inside the top 50 in the world rankings.
Wasn't to be for me today. Really enjoyed the buzz of contending on the Sunday of a major. Thanks so much to everyone for your support.— Shane Lowry (@ShaneLowryGolf) June 22, 2015
"I feel like I played the golf to really have a chance to win at the end," Lowry said. "I missed a couple of short putts for par that you can't be doing on days like this.
"I just didn't really do enough. If I holed a few more putts I would have had a chance coming in on the last few.
"But it was a good week for me. I'm back inside the top 50 in the world and a few goals have been reached."
Lowry will take the experience of the week into the Open Championship at St Andrews, with his share of ninth equalling his previous best major finish at Hoylake last year.
"It was a long morning on Sunday," he added. "I was awake at 7:30 and not teeing off until almost 2:30. You hope to learn from things like today.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my week, to be honest. I loved the golf course, I loved how tough it played. Tends to suit me a lot, tough golf courses.
"Overall I'm pretty pleased at how I played. When you walk away from a major championship and you feel like you played the golf to win you've got to be happy with yourself."
Jordan Spieth has closed the gap on world number one Rory McIlroy to less than two average ranking points after his US Open win.
Spieth's second major triumph of the season lifted his average to 11.06 ranking points per event, up from 9.28. McIlroy dropped from 12.92 to 12.77 after finishing in a share of ninth place at Chambers Bay.
Dustin Johnson jumped four places to third to ease the disappointment of his runner-up finish on Sunday, when he three-putted the last hole to finish one shot behind Spieth. Fellow runner-up Louis Oosthuizen returns to the top 20 in 16th.
England's Justin Rose is up one place to fourth while Australia's Jason Day,who played on after collapsing from vertigo to finish alongside McIlroy on level par, rises from 10th to eighth.
Latest leading positions and points average:
1 Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 12.77, 2 Jordan Spieth (USA) 11.05, 3 Dustin Johnson (USA) 6.97, 4 Justin Rose (Eng) 6.65, 5 Bubba Watson (USA) 6.64, 6 Jim Furyk (USA) 6.61, 7 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 6.44, 8 Jason Day (Aus) 5.90, 9 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 5.84, 10 Rickie Fowler (USA) 5.70, 11 Adam Scott (Aus) 5.38, 12 Jimmy Walker (USA) 5.17, 13 JB Holmes (USA) 4.78, 14 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 4.52, 15 Patrick Reed (USA) 4.29, 16 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 4.10, 17 Matt Kuchar (USA) 4.08, 18 Chris Kirk (USA) 4.02, 19 Billy Horschel (USA) 3.96, 20 Phil Mickelson (USA) 3.87.