Irish eyes were smiling in Ohio tonight when Shane Lowry captured his first title on American soil – the prestigious World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational.
It was an outstanding performance by the 28-years-old who shot to prominence in 2009 when he became only the third amateur to win a European Tour title – when he claimed the Irish Open at County Louth GC, beating Robert Rock at the third hole of a play-off.
And the Irishman was a worthy winner, keeping his composure throughout a tense final round during which he kept big names like Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk and Justin Rose at bay.
Lowry, twice a runner-up in 2014 in the BMW Championship and Wales Open, made no mistakes this time though he had a slice of good fortune at the 16th where his approach shot into the green just cleared the water guarding it.
But he managed to secure his par and did the same again at the penultimate hole. With Watson in the clubhouse at -9 after birdieing the last, Lowry looked to be in a spot of bother after a loose drive at the last. However, he struck a stunning recovery shot over a cluster of trees and confidently knocked home the putt to clinch the biggest win of his career.
It was no more than he deserved: Lowry hadn't dropped a shot all day – no mean feat in such a pressure cooker situation – while virtually all his rivals never really got anything going and that particularly applied to final pairing Furyk and Rose, the latter squandering a spattering of excellent birdie chances.
The day though belonged to Lowry who admitted: "It was great to get the job done because I have been doubting myself a bit this season.
"I was nervous but played solid and hit some good ...and it was good to have a bit of luck on my side too."