It was close to 6pm local time when PGA Tour officials confirmed that Shane Lowry had won a unique contest and the prize of a $52,000 Ford 2018 edition ‘Expedition’.
Lowry had completed his round near lunch, disappointed to have bogeyed his 13th and 14th holes in a level par 71 to remain at one-under par following Thursday’s effort of a score of 70.
Though the Clara man was more concerned about making the cut in the $6.9m event than a winning a new Ford SUV he admitted he was staring at an anxious afternoon wait given he headed to lunch sharing 63rd place, right on what would eventually be the one-under cut.
Though unbeknownst to Lowry he was, for the whole afternoon, leading the ‘Nearest the Pin’ two-round contest with the lowest combined two-day length of putts on the infamous par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale course.
Lowry faced a putt of 4 feet 2 inches on Thursday and then hit a 9-iron for a second day running to land his shot 11 feet 9 inches from the cup at 16 to give him a combined 15 foot 11 inches.
And there was not just one prize of a $52,000 Ford but a second car that the winning player could donate to one of 12 selected charities in the Phoenix region.
The Tour was firstly keen to advise Lowry of his prize and also for him to choose a charity so a repesentative of his chosen charity could be on hand Saturday when Lowry completed his third round in order both player and charity could accept the keys to their new vehicle.
Efforts were made to contact Lowry’s manager, with this journalist advising Lowry of the PGA Tour official to contact.
Bizarrely, it was to around 7pm when the Tour realised it had made a mistake when informed that Canadian Ben Silverman, who had teed-off in the morning a half-an-hour ahead of Lowry, had faced putts of 6 foot 4 inches and 9 foot 4 inches for a combined 15 feet 8 inches.
It meant Silverman won the car by just three inches.
Silverman, 30 is a rookie on the PGA Tour having earned his Tour card in qualifying off last year’s Web.com Tour.
And the Ontario-born golfer, who now resides in West Palm Beach, will be getting about the same region of Florida where Lowry and his young family have moved in his new ‘Expedition’.
Both Lowry and Silverman made the cut with the Canadian shooting rounds of 71 and 68.