Out of shadows of Irish golf, Lowry a major champion

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PORTRUSH, Ireland (AP) — No longer in the shadows of Irish golf, Shane Lowry now has his name etched on the base of the silver claret jug.

It’s on there with more than a century’s worth of the best that have conquered the links to win the British Open. Lowry gazed at the oldest trophy in golf as he tried to soak up his storybook finish Sunday at Royal Portrush, a course wet from rain and then from tears.

“I can’t believe this is mine,” Lowry said after his six-shot victory.

He earned his place with a 63 in the third round that broke the 54-hole scoring record at the British Open and staked him to a four-shot lead. And then he handled the nerves and expectations, both in abundance, and never let anyone closer than three shots.

A year ago, Lowry sat in a parking lot at Carnoustie and cried after missing the cut in the British Open for the fourth straight year.

“Golf wasn’t my friend at the time,” he said.

And there he was Sunday, in rain and wind so ferocious that pars felt like birdies, never giving anyone much of a chance as he closed with a 1-over 72 for the largest margin of victory in the Open in nine years.

Lowry isn’t afraid to be honest, and he didn’t mind telling caddie…

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