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The 148th Open Royal Portrush

Royal Portrush


Shots of the Championship

Shane Lowry

The world’s best golfers, battling it out on the biggest stage; it’s inevitable that there are always going to be some pretty special shots at The Open, and this year was no different.

From drives to irons, approaches to escapes, chips to putts, fans were treated to a masterclass on the green green grass of Royal Portrush as The Open returned to Irish shores for the first time in 68 years and Shane Lowry brought home a historic Claret Jug.

And it was a lengthy highlight reel that accompanied his victory – not just from the Irishman’s winning -15, but across a star-studded field. Here are the best shots of the Championship.

Emiliano Grillo

There is no better place to start than an ace.

Stepping onto the tee at the par-three 13th, it was three years since The Open had seen its last hole-in-one – Louis Oosthuizen’s effort at Royal Troon’s 14th – but the Argentine was about to update that footnote.

A 9-iron in his hand, Grillo lofted one high into the cloudy skies, landing his ball 30 feet short of the hole.

Rolling over a mound, the ball looked to be lined up perfectly as it made its way hole-wards, with the all-satisfying drop met by raucous cheers and high-fives all-round on the tee box.

The best shot of day one at The Open, it wrestled Grillo back to even par, but that would be the high point of the 26-year-old’s weekend, as he missed the cut after a disappointing second round.

Adam Hadwin

Like Grillo, Adam Hadwin was in the black when he addressed his ball to the right of the fairway on the par-five eighth.

One over par on the Friday, the Canadian was dicing with the cut, in need of a big back nine to make sure of his place on the weekend’s billing.

His second shot on the eighth looked good as it sailed through the air, straight at the flag it flew.

And then, quick as a flash, the ball disappeared: one bounce and into the cup.

It proved just the tonic for the 31-year-old, who finished the day with a 69, comfortably making the cut on his way to a T57 finish at his third Open.

Tony Finau

If there was an element of good fortune about Grillo and Hadwin’s efforts, Tony Finau’s chip-in on Saturday was all about touch.

The big Utahn demonstrated that he is not all about brawn as his dextrous hands came to the fore when he found himself in a spot of bother on the 18th as he looked to keep up with the leading pack heading into the final day.

On a tricky par-four 18th, Finau had gone par-birdie for his first two rounds, and would likely have taken either when he stepped up to chip on from short-left with his third.

But a textbook lofted effort landed feather-soft about 15 feet short, with just enough of a roll to carry it to the cup.

Tied for eighth after three rounds, the American would keep his head on the Sunday when many others around him lost theirs, finishing behind just Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood to record his best performance in a major.

Shane Lowry

It would be remiss not to include a shot from the Champion Golfer of the Year.

On his way to a six-stroke triumph, there was a surplus of standout moments , but it seems apt to opt for a shot from his glorious fourth round.

The wind up, the rain down, Lowry found himself slap-bang in the middle of the 15th after crushing his tee shot.

Just over 100 yards to the hole, Lowry needed a deft touch to get him home – guts playing as much of a part as skill at this point.

A shortened, punchy swing was enough to get him right up there, wonderfully to within ten feet and the chance for what was to be a birdie that all-but decided the destination of the Claret Jug.

Fleetwood failed to make it up the green’s slope in response and Lowry made his birdie, pumping his fist in celebration; he knew that The Open was his.