Rory McIlroy has paid tribute to Shane Lowry, and his hometown of Northern Ireland for the “overwhelming” support he received during The Open.
McIlroy, who was bidding to win his fifth major title, missed the cut by just one shot at Royal Portrush to extend his winless streak in majors to 19.
But the despite his own disappointment, he lavished praise on Lowry after he became the fifth Irishman, and first since McIlroy in 2014, to win the Claret Jug with a dominant six-shot victory, much to the delight of a partisan crowd.
“Even though last week wasn’t the week I had envisaged for myself, I couldn’t be happier and more proud of Shane Lowry, McIlroy wrote on his Instagram story.
“How he handled everything over the weekend.... emotions, nerves and conditions tells you everything I’ve gotten to know about him over the past 15 years.”
The World No.3 then penned a separate piece, admitting he is now more motivated than ever to realise his full potential.
“Thank you to every single one of you willing me on as I was fighting to play the weekend,” he added.
“Whether you were there in person or watching on TV it was overwhelming to experience. As I said afterwards your support hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it but I’m so appreciative and I’ll do my best to let you know that more often.
“I’ve learned a lot over the last few days and I’m more motivated than ever to become the golfer and competitor I know I can be.”
McIlroy will try to bounce back this week and claim his third win of the PGA Tour season when he tees it up at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis.