Sunday 18 August 2019

'Keep your feet on the ground' - Shane Lowry's granny Emmy (82) leads Open celebrations

Joy: Emmy Scanlon (centre) with daughter Catherine Cushen and son Magsy Scanlon at her home in Clara. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Joy: Emmy Scanlon (centre) with daughter Catherine Cushen and son Magsy Scanlon at her home in Clara. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM

Sorcha O'Connor in Clara

He might be €1.73m richer, but Shane Lowry won't forget where he came from - his granny made sure of that.

Grandmother Emmy Scanlon always told him to "keep his feet on the ground" - and she thinks he will do just that following his first Major win at the weekend.

Emmy (82) watched her grandson reign supreme at the Open in Co Antrim at home on TV before she headed up to her local pub, Dolan's, for the last few holes. "It's nice to be in a crowd," she said.

Like most grannies, Emmy always had a word of advice for Shane growing up. "He's a down to earth, young lad. I always said to him, 'No matter where you are don't try to be anyone but yourself'.

"I'd say to him, 'keep your feet on the ground because in life you can go up and up but always remain who you are, what you are and where you come from'."

She has memories of a young Shane tying his golf club to his bike, and cycling out a few kilometres to the Esker Hills golf club, which was founded in 1996. As a tot he was always up to something too.

"He would run everywhere, he was always alert. He had a big head of curls - it was hard to watch him. I had a turf box by the door and I'd put him in it when I was going up to the washing line.

"When I'd come back he'd be black with it and some even in his mouth," she said, laughing.

Shane Lowry after winning the 2009 Irish Open. Photo: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE
Shane Lowry after winning the 2009 Irish Open. Photo: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

"He was a great kid, always in good humour, always jolly.

"He was a good athlete all the time and always on the go. But GAA wasn't his kettle of fish."

Emmy, whose daughter Bridget is Shane's mother, was joined by some of Shane's aunts and uncles at her house in Clara yesterday. All were proud of their nephew - and his uncle Joe and aunt Martina wouldn't forget their wedding anniversary, as he had won on their 40th.

As the celebrations got under way in Clara, the man of the hour made sure the party was in full swing in Dublin. The travelling party booked limousines for the three-hour trek from Portrush, arriving at 37 Dawson Street, where Shane belted out a fist-pumping version of 'The Fields of Athenry' to the hordes of fans that had gathered in the bar after a Twitter tip-off from Padraig Harrington. After partying late into the night on Sunday, there was an early start in The Boar's Head on Capel Street where, yet again, he posed for photo after photo with supporters.

Meanwhile, golf fans came from as far afield as Melbourne and Florida to Lowry's local golf club. A bus of Australian fans arrived at Esker Hills just after noon to see where he had honed his skills.

Members of the Southern Golf Club in Melbourne and their captain Adrian Rowe missed out on tickets for the Open but watched the final day of the tournament in Portmarnock.

They were making their way to Killarney when their bus driver decided they would take a detour and head for Clara.

Meanwhile, the Marcus family from Florida were also at the bustling clubhouse.

Jerry and Liz Marcus and their sons Griffin and Palmer were in Portrush for the practice rounds and watched the final day in Galway. "It was a thrill to see him win," said Mr Marcus.

Irish Independent

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