Shane Lowry dreamed of winning the Open as a child. He never dreamed he would do it in Ireland. Alex Perry wraps up the action

2019 Open report: What happened on the final day?

In 2016, Shane Lowry had a comfortable lead at the US Open before a hat-trick of bogeys from the 14th ended his chances and Dustin Johnson snatched his first and only major championship to date.

Try telling anyone in the packed galleries that they, or indeed Lowry himself, weren’t thinking of that day at Oakmont as they roared their man round Portrush.

In reality Lowry’s closest rival was the adverse weather, but if there’s one player in the field who knows how to deal with lashing rain and stiff gales, it’s the Irishman – who can forget him jumping for joy in his waterproofs after winning the Irish Open as an amateur?

The only real concern for Lowry was a hoiked tee shot on the 1st. The Ryder Cup-like roars turned into nervous murmurs, but it settled in the rough, well short of the controversial internal out of bounds that cost Rory McIlroy his shot at homeland glory.

Lowry slashed at his ball and found the bunker. He popped out nicely and left his lengthy par putt well short, before a confident 10-footer for bogey. That, coupled with Fleetwood missing a five-foot birdie putt after a stunning approach, will have settled the nerves.

The 54-hole lead was cut to three after one hole, but imagine how different the day might have panned out if Fleetwood had halved it? We’ll never know.

It turned out that was as close as Fleetwood got. The lead stretched as far as six when Lowry birdied the 7th but it was still far from over.

That moment, you feel, came when Fleetwood made a mess of the 14th. His bogey putt stayed up and both he and caddie Ian Finnis slumped to their knees. The wind had been knocked out of his sails.

Lowry strode to the 15th tee with the air of a man about to win his maiden major championship – and it was all but confirmed when a sublime approach left him with the mere formality of rolling home the birdie putt.

From there he parred his way home and Lowry, with the crowd singing “Shane-O!” and that large, infectious grin on his face, lifted the Claret Jug on its return to Northern Ireland, just four hours from where he was born.

On a day when it could have gone so wrong, it could not have gone more right.

2019 Open report: How the final round panned out

2019 Open report

Lowry, at 16-under, began the day with a four-shot lead. Here’s how their battle went on Sunday…

1st
Lowry: Bogey
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 3

2nd
Lowry: Par
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 3

3rd
Lowry: Par
Fleetwood: Bogey
Lead: 4

4th
Lowry: Birdie
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 5

5th
Lowry: Birdie
Fleetwood: Birdie
Lead: 5

6th
Lowry: Par
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 5

7th
Lowry: Birdie
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 6

8th
Lowry: Bogey
Fleetwood: Bogey
Lead: 6

9th
Lowry: Bogey
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 5

10th
Lowry: Par
Fleetwood: Bogey
Lead: 6

11th
Lowry: Bogey
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 5

12th
Lowry: Par
Fleetwood: Birdie
Lead: 4

13th
Lowry: Par
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 4

14th
Lowry: Bogey
Fleetwood: Double bogey
Lead: 5

15th
Lowry: Birdie
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 6

16th
Lowry: Par
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 6

17th
Lowry: Par
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 6

18th
Lowry: Par
Fleetwood: Par
Lead: 6

Finish
Lowry: -15
Fleetwood: -9

2019 Open report: Who else was contending?

Well, no one. But in the battle to be best of the rest, Tony Finau (71) snatched 3rd place – how does he not have more wins under his belt? – while Lee Westwood (73) and Brooks Koepka (74) tied for 4th at 6-under.

Robert MacIntyre (68), continued his fine season and becomes the first Scotsman to finish in the top 10 at the Open since Colin Montgomerie in 2005. Tied for 6th alongside MacIntyre were Tyrrell Hatton (69), Danny Willett (73), and Rickie Fowler (74).

Patrick Reed (71) snuck into the top 10, while defending champion Francesco Molinari (66) carded the round of the day to finish T11.

It was a day to forget for JB Holmes, though. The American, playing in the second-to-last group alongside Koepka, carded a 16-over-par 87 to drop to a tie for 67th. He began the day with just two players above him on the leaderboard, and ended it with just three players below him. Speaking of which…

2019 Open report: Quote of the day

Here’s Lowry’s winning speech…

…but we couldn’t not mention this from Koepka. (Before you read remember that a) Koepka was paired with JB Holmes – and we don’t need to remind you of his past – and b) Koekpa has spoken out against slow play in the past.)

When it’s your turn to hit, your glove is not on, then you start thinking about it. That’s where the problem lies. It’s not that he takes that long. He doesn’t do anything until it’s his turn. That’s the frustrating part. But he’s not the only one that does it out here.

I mean, talk about kicking a man when he’s down.

Open 2019 report: Shot of the day

Imagine being under the amount of pressure and scrutiny that Lowry was under, only to produce this from the bunker…

Utterly unreal.

Open 2019 report: Stat of the day

The average ranking of the Open champion since the Official World Golf Rankings were brought in? 33.

Shane Lowry’s ranking going into this year’s Open? 33.

The average age of each Open champion of the last 50 years? 32.4.

Shane Lowry’s age? You guessed it, 32.4.

Thanks to the Open stattos for that one.

Missed any of the action from the first three days at Royal Portrush? Head to the next page…