'I couldn't be happier and more proud' - Rory McIlroy pays tribute to Open champion Shane Lowry
Rory McIlroy has paid tribute to Open champion Shane Lowry following the Offalyman's sensational victory in Royal Portrush.
Pre-tournament favourite McIlroy missed the cut on his hometown course following a nightmare opening round of 79. The four-time Major winner did manage a fine 65 on day two but ultimately fell short by just one shot.
McIlroy was visibly deeply upset addressing the media on Friday but promised to hang on in Portrush and support his pal Lowry and today expressed his delight at seeing him lift the Claret Jug.
"Even though last week wasn't the week I had envisaged for myself, I couldn't be happier and more proud of @shanelowrygolf," said McIlroy on Instagram. "How he handled everything over the weekend.... emotions, nerves and conditions tells you everything I've gotten to know about him over the past 15 years. 2019 Champion Golfer of the Year! Enjoy some good stuff out of the Claret Jug!"
McIlroy will hope to put last weekend's disappointment behind him at this week's FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis.
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"Part of me is very disappointed not to be here for the weekend," said McIlroy after his second round at the Open.
"I am a bit emotional but I am happy with how I played.
"Yesterday gave me a big mountain to climb. But I dug in there, I tried my best and I showed really good resilience."
"I can't wait to watch him over the weekend," he added of Lowry. "I was following the board closely and saw he got to 10-under with a few holes to go and dropped back.
"But Shane will relish these conditions. He's the home boy that's up there now, and he is going to get all of the support I got today and hopefully, they can will him on, and I'd love nothing more than to see him lift that Claret Jug."