Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shane Lowry Wins Irish Open

In his first ever professional tournament amateur golfer Shane Lowry has won The 2009 Irish Open in a three hole playoff over the fine links layout at Baltray, Ireland. This is an amazing accomplishment for Lowry as he was rated as a five handicap golfer going into this event. He is only the third amateur to win a European PGA event. What makes this all the more remarkable was his win was achieved under some of the most adverse playing conditions imaginable. The third round play was halted for several hours due to winds in excess of 30 miles per hour that were accompanied by steady stinging rain. The final round action was delayed two hours at its start for the same reason. Had he been a professional golfer, Lowry would have taken home the first place prize of 500,000 Euros. Instead the second place finisher, Robert Rock, from England took home the first place money. The unflappable Lowry will no doubt become legendary in Irish golf as he is only the third Irishman, pro or amateur, to win this event in 27 years.

County Louth, or Baltray, as it is commonly called is a very good example of “links golf”. The course near Drogheda is located along the coastal corridor between Dublin and the Northern Ireland border. Its close proximity to Dublin gives it a higher level of play than many links courses in Ireland that are more geographically remote. Our group last played County Louth in 2005. This trip was cursed by the non-arrival of the entire group’s clubs and luggage. Our clubs showed up just in time for our second stop at Baltray. Conditions were favorable and led to such an enjoyable round that we played the course twice. Afterwards we enjoyed a delightful dinner in the club restaurant. The clubhouse was once a golf hotel in its former life. Today lodging for twelve is still available for golfers in the “dormy house” upstairs over the dining area.

Shane Lowry honed his golfing skills on a Christy O’Connor Jr. course named Esker Hills located in the center of the country in County Offaly. Although an inland course, Esker Hills has a links flavor due to its steeply rolling sand hills and all weather greens. No doubt there was a great celebration inside the Esker Hills clubhouse on this windy and rainy day today. Certainly there were here many pints of lager downed all over Ireland after this event.

Congratulations Shane Lowry. Our hat’s off today for you. When we next arrive in Ballyliffin, Ireland in July our first pint will be downed in your honor!
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Joe said...

It's about time that this blog was updated...was beginning to think that the Secretary had nothing left to write about. I will be glad to hoist at least one pint in July to the Irish Victor...should be noted that Shane Lowry is a +5 handicap (5 shots BETTER than rating) rather than just a plain old 5, such as yours truly)

Brian said...

Way to go Shane! For an amateur to win a professional event is a really great accomplishment, so he deserves some great kudos on the victory. Hope to see more great golf from him.

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golf apparel said...

way to go, but the last post was published a few years ago