Ireland’s Shane Lowry claimed a first major championship win with a dominant six-shot victory on 15 under par amid raucous scenes at The Open.
Lowry started the celebrations early, his arms aloft as he squeezed through the crowds who swarmed the 18th fairway at Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush.
Despite a wobble on the first, the 32-year-old held his nerve in the wind and rain to shoot a one-over-par 72.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood briefly threatened but he ended on nine under.
Thousands of partisan fans lined the 18th to cheer Lowry’s victory procession down the final hole and as the 32-year-old turned to embrace his caddie Brian ‘Bo’ Martin after hitting his second shot, hundreds swarmed ahead of him.
Lowry and Martin were shepherded through the crowds and under a rope to allow them safe passage to the green.
There will also have been a sense of redemption for Lowry following his final-round capitulation at the US Open three years ago.
He, like on Sunday, had started with a four shot lead but a 76 saw him pipped to victory by Dustin Johnson.
The tussle between Lowry and Fleetwood ebbed and flowed. From Lowry dropping a shot on the first, to building up a six shot lead before a nervous start to the back nine saw the advantage slip back down to four.
But Lowry holed some crucial par putts in the closing stages to keep Fleetwood at arm’s length before a birdie on the 15th all but secure the coveted Claret Jug.
More to follow.