PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — Shane Lowry nearly blew the proverbial roof off Royal Portrush on Saturday afternoon, cruising around with an 8-under 63 in his native land to build a four-shot lead entering the final round of the British Open.
Lowry birdied three of his final four holes and left the fans in a frenzy, moving to 16 under for the week. The singing and chanting that continued after his round could be heard from a media tent well beyond the 18th green.
This was a scene.
“We might never have a day like this on the golf course again, so let’s enjoy this next half hour,” Lowry told caddie Brian ‘Bo’ Martin walking off the 17th tee. “You know what I mean? And that’s what I did. The crowd was incredible. I just can’t believe what it was like.”
The 32-year-old six-time European Tour winner has been here once before, in the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, where he entered the final round with a four-shot lead and succumbed to the moment with a Sunday 76 to finish T-2 behind Dustin Johnson.
The goal is the same but the weight not as heavy, Lowry says. Perspective and circumstance can change over the course of three years.
“Look, if I’m sitting here this time tomorrow evening it…