Ballsy Shane Lowry approach shows chasing pack he means business 4 weeks ago

Ballsy Shane Lowry approach shows chasing pack he means business

With his lead shaved to four shots on both Lee Westwood and Rickie Fowler going on birdie streaks, this was Lowry's response.

Shane Lowry was open enough to admit, on Saturday, that he would be dreaming of lifting the famous Claret Jug at Royal Portrush.

The Offaly native started the final round of The open Championship four clear of Tommy Fleetwood with greater leads over the likes of Lee Westwood, Brooks Koepka, JB Holmes, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler.

Weather conditions were dicey enough, on Sunday afternoon, and the likes of Sergio Garcia [+7], Dustin Johnson [+5] and hometown favourite Graeme McDowell [+6] were not the only ones to card in the mid to high 70s.

Lowry's cumulative score for the first five holes, over rounds one to three, were -8. He had been starting like a train all week. After a rapturous reception on the first tee, he would have been hoping to bolt from the gates again.

Instead, Lowry found the scraggy rough with his opening tee shot and could not reach the green with his second shot. He eventually was left with a nine-footer for bogey and pumped his first as that one dropped into the hole.

The damage was limited but Lowry's lead was down to three shots.

The following two holes saw Lowry steady the ship with two pars while Tommy Fleetwood dropped a shot on the third. Westwood and Fowler had also started by dropping shots on the first but went on to drop three birdies in a row and catch up on the Clara man.

Lowry needed a big shot to get into his groove and it arrived with a gem of an approach, into the wind and bravely gunning for the flag. The roar that went up from the partisan crowd, at the County Antrim course, may well have been heard across the water in Scotland.

There was still the birdie putt to dispatch but it was not a bother to the 32-year-old and down it went.

That moved Lowry to -16 and it was the shot that turned the tide. Further birdies followed on the 5th snd the 7th and he was six shots clear with 11 holes to go.

Ballsy stuff from a man backing his very special talents.