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The details

Date: July 18-21, 2019

Course: Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland

Course stats: Par 71, 7,344 yards

Purse: $10.75 million

Defending champion: Francesco Molinari (-8)

The Open leaderboard 2019

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 – the one he’s dreamt about since he was a kid.

Indeed, there was nothing Fleetwood could do to stop him and Lowry lifted the Claret Jug, with the crowd singing “Shane-O!”, 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.

Full report, including quotes, to follow… 

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