Portrush – Ireland’s Shane Lowry romped to victory in treacherous conditions to claim his maiden major title at the 148th Open Championship on Sunday, beating England’s Tommy Fleetwood by six shots.
Here, AFP Sport takes a look at four key moments from the final round at Royal Portrush:
Lowry avoids first-hole disaster
The 32-year-old was in danger of seeing his four-shot overnight lead whittled down to just one on the first hole when he left a lengthy par putt a few feet short and Fleetwood struck a magnificent approach to within 10 feet.
But the Englishman missed his birdie try and Lowry holed for a gutsy bogey, celebrated with a fist pump, that kept him three strokes clear and paved the way for an excellent even-par front nine.
Fleetwood slips up
Lowry, following back-to-back bogeys, found himself in trouble when he struck his second shot on the par-four 10th into the rough over the back of the green.
Fleetwood skipped his pitch to within three feet of the hole and looked likely to creep back to only four shots behind Lowry.
But the leader drained his eight-foot par putt, and Fleetwood contrived to pull his effort past the left edge, sending the Irishman six shots ahead with just eight holes to play.
The final nail in the coffin for Fleetwood’s hopes came when he found a bunker off the 14th tee shortly after cutting Lowry’s lead back to four.
The world number 20 decided to go for broke and attempt to find the green, despite Lowry being in a spot of bother himself.
Fleetwood failed to get the connection he wanted, though, sending the ball spinning into thick rough to the right of the putting surface before making a costly double bogey.
Lowry two-putted for what proved to be an excellent bogey, putting the Claret Jug well within his grasp as a five-shot lead was opened up with only four holes remaining.
One last birdie
Despite holding such a commanding advantage, there were still a few jitters around the Dunluce links as Lowry closed in on the title.
But that quickly turned into a party atmosphere as the crowd favourite hammered a magnificent drive down the 15th fairway, flicked a wedge to 10 feet, and rolled in the putt.
That allowed the fans to cheer Lowry’s every step down the final three holes, as he confidently parred his way in before lifting the Claret Jug.