The 148th Open was one that will never be forgotten. Played out on the island of Ireland for the first time since 1951 this edition had a little sprinkling of emerald magic. And of course it made perfect sense for the home player Shane Lowry to lift the Claret Jug.

What's In The Bag: 2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry

Driver: Srixon Z 585 (9.5 degrees) with a Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70X shaft.
3-wood: TaylorMade M4 (15 degrees) with Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8X shaft.
Irons: Srixon Z U85 (2 [18 degrees], 3 [20 degrees]), Srixon Z 585 (4 [23 degrees], 5 [26 degrees]), Srixon Z 785 (6-PW) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White TX Hybrid (2), KBS Tour 130X (3-PW) shaft
Wedges: Cleveland RTX 4 (50 , 58 degrees) with KBS Tour Wedge X shafts
Putter: Odyssey Stroke Lab Exo 2-Ball (black version)
Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV Pure White

Stats Report

For the week Shane Lowry hit 35 fairways with his Srixon Z 585 driver and TaylorMade M4 fairway , T22 in the field and averaging 301.1 yards.  Key for the Offaly man was his irons, topping the greens in regulation stats with 57 total using a blend of Srixon Z U85, Z 585 and Z 785 irons. That set up a total of 23 birdies with his Odyssey Stroke Lab Exo 2-Ball putter versus 8 bogeys.  With the win Lowry also now secures his PGA Tour card for five years and 10 years on the European Tour.


Reflections on the week

Royal Portrush was the star of the show.  Lumpy and tricky and twisty and turny, but fair. Framed with huge grandstands and 40,000 loud but knowledgeable fans it was a picture of joy.  And in good weather for three days the pros had their fun with birdies aplenty.  But they say a good links needs bad weather to test a player, so maybe it holds true that a great links needs terrible weather and that's what they got on Sunday!

As usual there were shocks.  A nervous Rory McIlroy "wanted it so bad" his championship fate was all but sealed after his very first hole.  Tiger Woods, broken and in pained body, bravely battled but bowed out early. And for Portrush's own, Darren Clarke, there was the calamity of the 36th hole which caused him to miss the cut so cruelly.

Controversy also reared its head when that awful habit some of the PGA Tour players have of not shouting FORE was finally confronted on the course by brave Bob MacIntyre who gave Kyle Stanley a piece of his mind.  The young Scot was the hero of the hour; did it fix the problem? Did it hell!

There were unconforming drivers. Xander Schauffele was named and shamed as wielding one. But as he highlighted in his defence this is a regular occurrence on Tour, which made no sense whatsoever, and the whole subject of CT numbers was quickly swept under the carpet.

Back on the course, Shane Lowry was having an outer body experience.  Bo his caddie might as well have been carrying a bookcase, because the Offaly man had a shot for every situation in his library.  After 54 holes his lead over Tommy Fleetwood was four shots with the rest of the field making up the numbers.

And what better player and gentleman to share your final round with for Shane Lowry than Tommy Fleetwood. Yes they were rivals, both desperately wanted to win, but friendship prevailed throughout.

And when the golf was done and the Claret Jug won, it was all about the people.  The crowds sung the entire family were on hand for hugs.  As were all his fellow players.  Back in Lowry's home course Esker Hills the party was just as joyous!

The 148th Open was one hell of a party.  And its only getting started!

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