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Shane Lowry wins the Open Championship in a blowout, while Brooks Koepka calls out slow play


The Open Championship returned to Ireland for the first time since 1951, returning to the same Northern Ireland host venue of Royal Portrush. It’s only fitting, then, that someone who grew up in Ireland (the Republic, but still) took home the Claret Jug, and that’s exactly what Shane Lowry did.

While final round tee times moved up an hour in efforts to avoid the worst of Sunday’s impending weather, the conditions were still by far the worst they’ve been all week. Only eleven players managed to break par, but Lowry held on, though, firing a +1 round of 72.

Lowry has been a very good player for a long time, and has had some close calls in majors in recent years. He finished T8 at the PGA Championship in May, and was memorably T2 at the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont. He wasn’t a betting favorite, but he

It was quite impressive considering there were players on the course demonstrating just how badly things could go wrong.

Take J.B. Holmes, for example:

Holmes started the day in a tie for third, and finished the tournament in a tie for 67. Holmes is routinely one of the slowest players in professional golf, so folks really felt every one of those 87 shots; he played with Brooks Koepka on Sunday, and as Koepka is both a very fast player and a player who speaks his mind, he wasn’t afraid to comment on Holmes’s slow play. He did so on the course, first:

And off the course later:

“I’m ready to go most of the time. That’s what I don’t understand 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 his turn. That’s the frustrating part. But he’s not the only one that does it out here.”

As mildly entertaining as it was to see Holmes collapse, the day still very clearly belonged to Lowry, who ended up winning the Open at a score of -15, six shots clear of Tommy Fleetwood and eight shots ahead of third-place finisher. That’s a very impressive win, and his hometown celebrated accordingly, as chronicled by PGA Tour writer Sean Martin:

That’s as good a summation as you can hope for. It wasn’t a thriller of an event, and Lowry isn’t a household name, although to be honest, those are dwindling in golf now anyway. He’s a deserving major winner, and hopefully Portrush gets another big event sooner rather than later.

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