'As Bad A Break As I've Got In A While' - Lowry Bemoans Honda Classic Weather

Heavens opened as Ryder Cup star waited on the final tee needing a birdie to force a playoff

Shane Lowry hides under his umbrella as the heavens opened just as he was about to tee off the final hole of the Honda Classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shane Lowry felt like he’d had the tournament ‘stolen’ from him after finishing second at the Honda Classic, one shot behind surprise winner Sepp Straka

The Irishman said he played well enough to win, but the heavens opening just as he was about to tee off on the final hole was ultimately the deciding factor. Lowry needed to match Straka’s birdie at the par 5 18th to join him at 10-under and force a playoff, but the sudden change in playing conditions as he was about to hit his drive - and as the Austrian sunk his birdie putt up ahead - changed everything.

“It's hard to take, to be honest,” said the 2019 Open champion. “I feel like I've got the tournament stolen from me. That bad weather came in just as we were hitting our tee shot on 18, which was as bad a break as I've got in a while. 

“It's a tough one to take, especially when you're standing on the tee and you see him over that left bunker, which I would've been able to do if there was no rain, because I need a drive and a 4- or 5-iron. I probably would've given myself a better chance with a 4. I played the golf perfectly to win the tournament, and that's this game sometimes and that's this level.”

Lowry started the final round in the group five shots behind runaway leader Daniel Berger, with many expecting the American to stroll to victory. However, after six holes, a massive six-shot swing saw Lowry ahead by one, and while the two remained locked in a head-to-head battle, it was Straka who emerged as the 34-year-old Ryder Cup star’s main rival.

The Austrian outsider birdied the 14th and 16th to join Lowry atop the leaderboard, before booming a 335-yard drive down the 18th to set up that crucial birdie, just as the weather changed. Lowry pulled his final drive left, forcing him to lay-up. After finding the fairway with his second, his wedge shot flew to the back of the green, leaving an unlikely 30-foot putt for birdie which he ultimately missed, meaning Straka became the first Austrian to win on the PGA Tour. 

“There is obviously a lot of positives to take from the whole event,” concluded Lowry. “You know, I probably played some of the best golf of my whole career this week around a very tough golf course. And I'll take that into The Players, and hopefully I can have a good week there.”

Jeff Kimber
Jeff Kimber

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!