Opinion: In a place obsessed with identity, Shane Lowry is a champion fans can relate to

Eamon Lynch, Golfweek
Published 2:16 p.m. ET July 21, 2019 | Updated 8:53 a.m. ET July 22, 2019

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Golfweek’s Geoff Shackelford braves the elements at Royal Portrush to break down the thrilling victory from Irishman Shane Lowry at the British Open.
USA TODAY

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — The 148th Open Championship was foreshadowed with ample focus on what divides the people of this island — politics, religion, reactions to Rickie Fowler’s wardrobe — so it was only appropriate that a man who embodies many of the traits that unite them should emerge as Champion Golfer of the Year.

Only his exquisite command of a golf ball distinguishes Shane Lowry from any Irishman you’d get from central casting. He is a dry wit, is fond of a pint, is colorful with his language, is devoted to his family and is a stranger to the gym. He looks like a man more likely to be guarding the Claret Jug than having his name engraved on it, but he’s undeniably a man you’d want to be drinking from it with.

Lowry grew up just 130 miles from Royal Portrush, a journey of four hours across Ireland’s backroads and, crucially, the U.K.’s border. That’s why Lowry can escape…

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