The 148th edition of the world’s oldest major was eagerly anticipated, especially as it was being played at Royal Portrush for the first time in 68 years. It certainly didn’t disappoint!A jubilant Shane Lowry was crowned The Open champion, with the Irishman winning the final major of the year by a sensational six-stroke margin.
One of the tournament favourites, Rory McIlroy, started the tournament in bizarre circumstances, with a quadruple bogey eight on the first hole. His form did not improve throughout the opening day! Brooks Koepka also struggled all week on the greens but he still finished joint 4th with Lee Westwood to continue his run of top ten finishes in majors.
Elsewhere, despite not having a fairy-tale ending, Tommy Fleetwood impressed, playing consistently throughout the competition with his smart decision making. If Fleetwood continues to impress in major tournaments it surely won’t be long until he wins a major of his own!
Of course all the plaudits will fall on the winner, Shane Lowry and rightly so. His runaway victory set a new benchmark for Irish winners and he was a deserving winner of a hugely successful Open. Thousands of funs clambered to the 18th to cheer Lowry home and there was surely a sense of redemption for the man himself, following his final-round capitulation at the U.S. Open three years ago.
Lowry’s name was already being engraved on the Claret Jug long before he played the final green, a sign of just how one-sided the ending to the Open was, not that it affected the thousands of people gathered to watch the biggest win of his career to date.
The parties in Portrush carried on long into the night, with celebrations worthy of a such a successful tournament. Let’s hope that Portrush doesn’t have to wait quite so long to experience the next Open – it’s fair to say that 68 years is far too long!
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