Monday 23 October 2017

Shane Lowry finishes third at Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Shane Lowry in action at St Andrews today
Shane Lowry in action at St Andrews today

England's David Howell claimed his first European Tour title in seven years on Sunday by beating American Peter Uihlein in a sudden-death play-off at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Howell carded a final round of 67 to set the clubhouse target and then watched as overnight leader Uihlein missed from 15 feet for a winning birdie on the 18th, meaning the pair finished tied on 23 under par.

Both players narrowly missed long birdie attempts on the first extra hole, meaning action switched from the first to the 18th.

Uihlein left his birdie putt from long range inches short but Howell, who had lost all four of his previous play-offs, made no such mistake from eight feet to claim the title and first prize of £495,000.

"It's incredible, the sun is shining and the crowd have come out," Howell said. "I have never played in an Open Championship here but to win a golf tournament as a professional at the Home of Golf is quite amazing and I am really thrilled.

"I was really nervous all week and strangely less nervous today, I can't explain that at all. I stayed calm and smooth under pressure and that was really pleasing.

"It's been a long, long road from the depths of despair. I have had a lot of support from people around me and this is as much for them as it is for me."

Ireland's Shane Lowry and England's Tom Lewis finished a shot outside the play-off, Lewis charging through the field with a 64 and Lowry carding a closing 68.

Lewis began the week 155th on the European Tour's Race to Dubai with only the top 110 in three weeks' time keeping their card for next season, but the share of third place will be enough for the 22-year-old to retain his playing rights.

Lowry had briefly led by two shots after playing his first 11 holes in six under par, but paid the price for dropped shots at the 13th and 15th.

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