Shane Lowry arrived in Augusta late last night (US time – Sunday) pleased overall after finishing just outside the top-10 at the Vivint Houston Open.
Lowry had muscled his way to a share of second place early on with four straight birdies from the second hole before signing for a two-under par 68 for a six-under par tally and a share of 11th place on the Memorial Park layout.
The Clara golfer spoiled his day with back-to-back bogeys at 10 and 11 and while Lowry found the green with his drive at the par-4 14th and two-putted for birdie, his Houston campaign ended in water guarding the green at the par-5 16th. Lowry did birdie 17 before a closing par.
Padraig Harrington is returning home with two pay cheques in his wallet having finished T26th in the Bermuda Championship before birdieing two of his closing three holes for a T32nd in Houston while Graeme McDowell was joining Lowry on the flight to Augusta in shooting a last day 70 for a one-over tally to be just outside the top-40.
Carlos Ortiz, 29, brilliantly captured a maiden Tour title and a start in next April’s Masters in becoming only the third Mexican-born to win on the PGA Tour when he sensationally birdied the last in a 65 and won by two shots at 13-under. In the process, Ortiz denied World No. 1 and Masters hot-favourite Dustin Johnson (65) and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (63) who shared second at 11-under.
“It feels awesome to win my first PGA Tour title and it’s been a while since I won (Three wins in 2014 on the Web.Com Tour), so it feels good,” he said. “I am just so happy winning here in Houston as Texas is now where I live and there were a bunch of local people here cheering for me along with many Latinos, Mexicans and also plenty of Texans cheering for me so it’s been awesome.”
Sharing fifth place was four-time major winner Brooks Koepka who headed to the Masters after a pair of 65s over the weekend for an eight-under total: “I feel good going to Augusta as the whole goal here in Houston was to find some confidence, so I played well,” he said. “I haven’t scored all year and I thought my scoring has been off, so I have finally put some low scores together and I’m ready for next week.”
Full scoring HERE