In episode one of the third season of The Open podcasts, Shane Lowry discussed his 2019 Open Championship win
Shane Lowry On 2019 Open: “It Was Like An Out-Of-Body Experience”
In episode one of the new season of The Open podcasts, Shane Lowry spoke in detail about his epic 2019 victory at Portrush.
The Irishman proved to be one of the most popular winners of the Claret Jug in the tournament’s history as the championship made its way back to Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951.
However, it was far from plain sailing. An eight-under-par 63 on Saturday gave Lowry a four-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood heading into the final round, but with strong winds and rain forecasted, and the oldest championship in golf his to lose, the man from Dublin woke up knowing this had the potential to be one of the greatest or worst days of his life.
He said: “I woke up that morning, I didn’t eat breakfast, I had a little nibble for lunch – I wasn’t able to – and Bo [his caddie] kept on saying to me, ‘you may need something when we’re on the course’.
“And I’m like, ‘I can’t, I’m physically sick’.
“All I can think about is standing on the 18th green with the Claret Jug in my hands and that’s way ahead of myself where I shouldn’t be.
“And I said that to Bo, I said, ‘Bo, you need to keep talking to me, you need to keep me in the moment and keep me focused on the next shot because I am away with the fairies here, I’m gone like’.
“Because I knew how big it was going to be, and obviously I’m so fortunate I got to experience that, but I knew this was going to be one of the biggest things ever if I got to pull this off.
“There’s no in-between here today, it’s either going to be one of the greatest days of my life or it’s probably going to be one of the worst.
“You just want to get off and running and obviously you don’t want to do what Rory [McIlroy] did. That’s the one thing that’s in the back of everyone’s head.”
On the face of it, a dropped shot at the opening hole wouldn’t have been what Lowry was hoping for, but with Fleetwood missing a golden birdie opportunity, the Irishman’s gutsy six-foot bogey putt settled him down for the day ahead.
From that moment on, Lowry barely put a foot wrong, and could enjoy his walk up the last knowing he was about to become The Open Champion. But it was a different emotion the Dubliner felt above all else.
“Walking down 17 and 18 on Saturday was incredible. Then when you get to Sunday, it’s just relief, joy, happiness, but I would say for me, at that stage, it was just a lot of relief.
“A lot of like, ‘oh my god this is it, it’s over’.
“And just kind of disbelief. I said to Bo, I remember pointing to the leaderboard and said, ‘I cannot believe that’s me up there, I just cannot believe it’.
“It’s one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had. It was like an out-of-body experience and to be able to share that with Bo.
“You hit your second shot in, and I turn around and hug Bo and I told him I loved him.”
Not only was Lowry able to share his win with his caddie and an army of passionate home fans, waiting in the wings were a host of people instrumental in getting him to that position.
He said: “That was the coolest part of the whole thing that everybody standing at the back of that 18th green has had a huge influence on my whole career and I wouldn’t have been there without any of those people and that’s what was pretty cool about the whole thing.
“GMac was there, Padraig Harrington, down to Gary Murphy who took care of me when I turned pro.
“My mum and my dad there and handing my dad the Claret Jug on the 18th green – Jesus, it is unbelievable.
“My dad coming from where he’s come from – coming from where we’ve come from – it’s just… it’s incredible to see that.”
For more from Lowry and his win, including some insight into the celebrations that took place that Sunday evening, check out the entire 53-minute podcast episode here, or you can listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon.
It was the first of 10 new feature-length documentaries that will be released every Tuesday and feature insight and stories from the likes of Colin Montgomerie, Greg Norman, Ernie Els as well as the late, great Seve Ballesteros.