"But I just felt at the time in Oakmont, my golf just meant a lot more to me back then than it does now".
A birdie on the following hole brought the Claret Jug within his sights and with three par putts to finish, Lowry sealed the Championship. "I just can't believe what it was like".
Players from Ireland and Northern Ireland have won five of the past 13 Opens, with Darren Clarke (2011) and Rory McIlroy (2014) also hoisting the Claret Jug. I could not believe it was happening to me. Fleetwood got within 3 strokes after the first hole but never got any closer, finishing with a 3-over 74.
What started as a four-shot lead for Lowry could've been reduced to one in a flash.
"Tommy Fleetwood grew up in Southport, he's played in bad weather and bad conditions before", Lowry said. "J.B". Lowry bogeyed, but Fleetwood double-bogeyed and with that his chance was gone.
"The weather was very bad but I had a look around, and everyone was struggling".
At the 11th, a third dropped shot in four holes took Lowry back once more to five shots ahead, and a poor tee shot on the par-five 12th looked to have continued his wobbles before he managed to sink a par putt.
He closed with a 1-over 72, the first time since 1996 that victor was over par in the final round, and it was no less impressive.
Salt Lake City native and Lehi resident Tony Finau shot even-par for his final round to move up to third place, one shot above Brooks Koepka.
He hit a lull in the middle of the round when rain, then strong winds made their presence known.
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Playing in the final group at a major for the first time, Fleetwood at least had a front-row seat for a clinic on how to seal victory at one of the biggest events in golf.
Royal Portrush last hosted the British Open in 1951, the only time it had been outside Scotland and England.
Given his age - 28 - and his talent, there will surely be more chances for the 20th-ranked Fleetwood to win a major.
Lowry kept his composure on the wild Northern Irish course as winds swept up and rain blasted those playing their final rounds of the weekend.
"I think I knew that I had to fight to the bitter end today, and that's what helped me".
"I'm just projecting Shane is going to have a decent finish here", Rose said.
But when it comes to the history of Irish golf, Lowry now has his place among the greats and he takes his place alongside fellow Open victor and countryman Padraig Harrington.
Given eight of the previous nine Open winners had played the week before (and the majority had played in the Scottish Open) that was a trend I was really keen on but Lowry was the fourth victor in five years not to have played in the Scottish so that needs rethinking somewhat. "You're out there trying to win an Open in your home country, and it's just incredibly hard". The Englishman only just broke 80, Holmes was round in 87.
He shared his greatest moment with his family who paved the way, the players who inspired and encouraged him through the lows. "He's going to kill me for that".