Photo gallery of Lowry's 3 Irish Open win at Baltry

Irish amateur Shane Lowry wins the 3 Irish Open

Shane Lowry - A new star is born!

How can Shane Lowry not turn professional after such a performance this week at the 3 Irish Open?

The Irish amateur defied the odds and won the 3 Irish Open in his first professional golf tournament, edging out Englishman Robert Rock in an amazing playoff full of drama and tension, and becomng only the thrd amateur to win on the European Tour.

Rock will be disappointed that he could not come out of County Louth with his maiden win, but he might find some consolation in the 500,000 euro first prize money he will slip in his back pocket as he leaves Baltry.
Lowry, being an amateur, does not pick up any prize money for his win on Sunday, surely enough of a reason for forsaking the Walker Cup in the fall and turning pro after this tournament.

Already an Irish amateur champion, Lowry will feel like a very big fish in a smaller pond should he decide to stay in the unpaid ranks after a triumph like this

Friend, former amateur colleague and rising star in the golf world Rory McIlroy thinks his mate should join him in the pro ranks.

"If Shane wins, I'd tell him to turn pro the minute after he holes the final putt," McIlroy told Setanta Sports on Saturday after completing his third round.

The man himself was coy when asked about it at the presentation ceremony on the 18th green.

“I don’t know, I am going to have to thing about that one,” a smiling Lowry said after the dramatic playoff win.

The 22-year-old has shown his shoulders are broad enough handle the stress of a pro tournament, and the added torment of a playoff.  In these tough times of recession, shouldn’t he get a few bob for his troubles if he repeats in his second professional tournament?

Speaking of tough recessionary times, Taoiseach and fellow Offaly man Brian Cowen can’t catch a break.

Down in the polls with elections looming, the leader of the Irish government received a few hisses as he was introduced to the ecstatic crowd before presenting the winner’s trophy to Lowry!

If Lowry turns pro, keeps this up and wins a ton of money, maybe he can give the Taoiseach a dig out!