Sunday 18 August 2019

'My wife and my little girl, having them here is so special' - Shane Lowry hails family as he soaks in major glory

Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug, wife Wendy and daughter Iris on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, Co. Antrim. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug, wife Wendy and daughter Iris on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, Co. Antrim. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Tony Considine

Ireland's latest major winner, Shane Lowry has paid tribute to his family in an emotional interview at The Open's presentation ceremony.

"Wow. What can I say, I just have so many people to thank," Lowry said as he accepted the famous Claret Jug.

"First of all the R&A — the opportunity to have an Open Championship on the Island of Ireland… I love this course.

"My coach Neil, my caddie Bo, my management team. My Mum and Dad sacrificed so much for me when I was younger. I’m so happy I can hand them this trophy tonight.

"My wife and my little girl, Iris, having them here is so special.

"My wife knew no matter what to have Iris there waiting for me because if things didn't go to plan, at least she would have consoled me a little bit. To have her there, winning, obviously it's very special.

"I'm going to be coming back to play another 27 Opens (champions are exempt to the age of 60). She's going to be nearly 30 when I play my last one. That's going to be nice.

"She'll be able to see those pictures in years to come and it will be a nice memory to have."

"Last but not least the volunteers and all the fans. Thank you so much, this is for you."

The Clara man had begun the day four strokes clear of nearest challenger, Tommy Fleetwood and finished it six ahead of the Englishman. Fleetwood had briefly threatened a comeback but a birdie from Lowry on the 15th finally killed off the chase. Three pars on the final three holes ensured a comfortable victory in what had been very testing conditions.

"It's just incredible to be sitting here with a trophy in front of me. Look at the names on it. I couldn't believe that it was me. I couldn't believe it was happening," a visibly emotional Lowry continued.

"I think a lot of people made the last-minute journey up here this morning because I was leading and it was great out there today.

"It's funny, I sometimes struggle to play in front of the home crowd and have done in the past, but not over the last few days. I played lovely.

"I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow morning and see what it feels like then.

 "I can’t describe what it’s been like, the next tournament I play is probably going to feel boring in comparison. The fans were cheering me all the way.

"I always thought I might be good enough to win a Major. My coach (Neil Manchip) always said he believed I would win a Major.

"Look at me now — I am here. I just can’t believe it. I just played such good golf all week.

"I mean, walking down 18...what a day."

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