The 148th Open Royal Portrush
Shane Lowry
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The hours that followed

The hours that follow the winning putt at The Open flash by in a blur, as fans, family and media vie for a piece of the Champion Golfer of the Year.

For Shane Lowry, it’s been quite the party. Since lifting the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush, the Irishman has embarked on a fortnight of celebrations – starting of course on the 18th green.

The rain crashed down and the wind howled throughout the final round as Lowry won from Tommy Fleetwood by six strokes.

But since holing that final putt, the Irishman has revelled in the spotlight.

Speech

Lowry was greeted by his wife Wendy and daughter Iris just off the 18th green, while major winners Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington were on-hand to offer their congratulations.

A quick ten minutes offered the 32-year-old a chance to soak it all in, before he was whisked back out for the trophy presentation.

After cradling the Claret Jug, Lowry, as is customary, was handed the microphone and asked to make a speech.

Just as he had all week, he delivered something to remember.

“My mum and dad. You sacrificed so much for me when I was younger and I’m so happy I can hand them this trophy tonight,” he said.

“My wife and my little girl Iris – to have them here today is just that extra bit special. I don’t know what to say.

“Last but not least, all the volunteers and the fans. Thank you so much. This one is for you.”

'Now there's two of us'

After exiting the green to the backdrop of fans singing his name, Lowry faced the media – both broadcast and written.

“I'm feeling unbelievably calm, to be honest. I don't know why. It's not going to sink in for a couple of days, is it,” he said.

“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.

“I thought about it all day but I didn't really let myself think about it until I hit my tee shot on 17. As soon as I hit that tee shot I knew that I couldn't really lose a ball from there, and that's how I felt.”

At 7.30pm, he made it to the Player’s Clubhouse to show off the Claret Jug – where he was greeted again by Harrington, his fellow Irishman and two-time Champion Golfer of the Year.

The famous piece of silver has the name of every champion since 1870, when it became the prize, engraved and Harrington wasted no time in pointing out his two victories to Lowry.

Dublin calling

After a few celebratory drinks in the Player’s Clubhouse, Lowry gathered his team and headed straight for Dublin.

A lock-in followed at the 37 Dawson Street cocktail bar before he headed back to the Boar’s Head on Monday afternoon.

As ever, plenty were there to celebrate with him.

“We had it organised before so it wasn’t sprung on us or anything like that,” said Boar’s Head owner Ann Hourican.

“Shane has been in a few times before and he’s a good country man, being from Offaly, and we’re from Cavan, so he knew the pub was owned by country people.”

Time to go home

There is no place like home and for Lowry, that is Clara – a town of just over 3,000 people in the remote County Offaly.

Thousands lined the streets to welcome home their champion.

"You think this is what it's all about," he told them. "But it's not.

“It’s just incredible. I suppose I didn’t know if I was good enough to ever win something like this. I didn’t think I’d ever be having something like this in Clara.

“I’m so overwhelmed at the minute. I can’t believe what’s going on, it’s been a crazy few days.”

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