Irish Amateur Shane Lowry won the 3 Irish Open after a dramatic playoff win over England’s Robert Rock at Baltray in County Louth.
In an unbelievable display of skill and nerve far beyond his 22 years, amateur Shane Lowry won his first professional tournament at the 3 Irish Open, becoming the first Irish amateur in 47 years to win against the professionals.
Though all the big names were either gone home or not in contention, the 3 Irish Open still provided huge drama and tension for the packed galleries that braved the horrible weather conditions.
The outcome could have been far less dramatic had Lowry holed a four-foot putt on the 72nd hole to win the tournament. But the beefy Offaly man missed, and the tournament would go to a shootout.
Lowry teed off first at the first playoff hole (the par 5 18th) and found the left hand bunker in a tough spot. Rock hit his drive right, but found the fairway and the pendulum swung back in his favor.
Both laid up and Lowry found the green with his third, but faced a long putt. Rock followed him and chipped to 10 feet to set up a battle on the green
Lowry putt his birdie putt close to leave a tap in and Rock had a putt to win the tournament. The 32-year-old missed. Both tapped in and it was back down the 18th again.
Both golfers hit good drives, Rock hit his second into the left hand bunker. Lowry hit an unbelievable second shot to six feet and a possible eagle.
Lowry left the eagle putt on the edge and tapped in leaving Rock an eight footer to keep the playoff alive. Rock knocked it in and it was back down the 18th for a third time.
On the next merry go round both men went right with their drives into the rough. Both punched out and were faced with similar third shots. Lowry left his chip pin high fifteen feet away, while Rock pushed through the green to lie just off the back edge.
Rock's chip was poor, and Lowry had another putt to win the tournament. He missed and the Englishman had an eight footer to go to a fourth playoff hole.
Rock missed and Lowry tapped in for the win, and was immediately swarmed by fans on the green in another huge day for Irish golf.
Sweden's Johan Edfors was third and Nick Dougherty and Marc Warren tied for fourth.