For a second year running Shane Lowry was left with a bitter taste in his mouth following a U.S. Open.
On this occasion, Lowry looked gutted to have walked off with a final hole bogey, signing for a second straight score of 73 to be sharing 43rd place just minutes before the final two groups were due to tee off in the bright but very windy conditions at Erin Hills in rural Wisconsin.
Sadly, the Irishman failed to duplicate the heroics of a year ago when he led heading to the final day at Chambers Bay before finishing a gallant second to now World No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
“I’ve a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, even though I’m playing for 35th or 40th or whatever it was,” he said.
“To bogey the last is very disappointing, I really grinded hard today.”
“But then it was so tough out there as the winds were strong, tough pin positions but then I played great, holed out great, putted lovely, did everything well. I suppose I did most things well all week and could be standing here in a different scenario, a different position, if I just had of got a few breaks and maybe holed some putts along the way.”
“All in all, I suppose it’s a pretty decent week. It is just a bit disappointing to bogey the last, that was 10 minutes ago and I am still a bit annoyed”
Looking back on the week, Lowry had just four birdies over the Erin Hills front nine but also nine bogeys.
In contrast, over his inward half Lowry managed five birdies but only dropped three shots.
He was even par over the four days for par fives while one over for the par 3s.
There was no standout favourite hole, and while he bogeyed the 72nd, his poorest hole was strangely the shortest hole of the course, the downhill par three, ninth hole that he birdied on day one but bogeyed each of the next three days.
Lowry has this week off before concentrating on the European Tour and starting by contesting next week’s French Open ahead of teeing up a week later in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart.
He will then head to Royal Birkdale, a new venue for the Clara golfer, teeing up in what will be his sixth Open Championship but needing no reminding he has missed the halfway cut in his last two showings.
“We all know Majors are different kettles of fish and it is tough golf,” he said.
“You play in the weekend of a Major and you know you are never too far away from a good week, I am playing nicely and I have got the French Open, the Irish Open and the Open coming up in the next month and then obviously the PGA after that, so a big couple of months coming up and I feel like my game is in decent condition.”
“Since Augusta I have started holing a few putts, even out there it was really tricky six, seven, eight footers I started to hole them.”
“Looking back, I probably didn’t hole many on Saturday at all but you will have days like that.”
“But I’ve definitely started to putt better and I think that’s the main difference. My game, I feel like when I have driver or an iron in my hand I am going to hit a good shot and that’s a great position to be in.”
“I just need to keep that going. I’ve a week off and then going to France and see what I can do there.”