Shane Lowry signed off on a confidence boosting week with a four-under-par 67 to claim outright sixth at the Portugal Masters at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.
The 2012 champion looked comfortable in familiar surroundings all week and carded five birdies on his way to a 16-under-par tournament total after returning a fourth successive round in the 60s.
The Clara man collects a cheque worth € 70,000 for his efforts and will now be hoping to kick on as he resumes life on the European Tour until the end of the season alongside new caddie, Bo Martin.
Paul Dunne, who was another in need of a bolt of inspiration, posted a two-under-par 68 for a solid mid-table finish. The Greystones professional returned an eight-under-par total for a share of 44th spot as he looks to rediscover his form of last season.
The week belonged to Tom Lewis who produced the biggest 54-hole comeback of the season to win in Portugal.
The Englishman was one-over-par after his opening round of 72 on Thursday and sat nine shots behind first round leader Lucas Herbert, but rounds of 63 and 61 meant he was just two behind the Australian heading into the final round in Vilamoura.
On Sunday it all came down to a three-way battle between Lewis, Herbert and England’s Eddie Pepperell, with Lewis ultimately signing for a 66 to get to 22-under-par and finish three shots clear of his two rivals.
“It’s unbelievable,” said the winner. “I’m so happy, it’s been a rough ride but this week I played hard. I obviously got off to a bad start, to finish the way I’ve been finishing has been brilliant.
“To be back here in Portugal and play the way I played and to have the crowds we had, I feel great right now. I think this one means more, it means a lot to come and win this again. The next win was always going to mean more because of how much I work for it.
“Hopefully I can do better than I did last time and continue to do what I’ve been doing with the team that I’ve got and the support and not ease off the gas and keep pushing forwards. That’s what I did this week after a few good weeks recently.
“If you’re having a good time it helps. It’s a tough life, it’s not as easy as it maybe looks with a lot of travelling and a lot of pressure that you put on yourself. That’s something that I’ve struggled with over the years and now I’m just enjoying it a little bit more than I used to.”
Lewis won this event in 2011 in just his third start as a professional and arrived this week in fine form, having won the Bridgestone Challenge on the Challenge Tour two weeks ago.
The last two holes proved pivotal as Lewis found the water off the tee on the 17th and had to hole a stunning 35-foot putt to save par, as a Pepperell’s bogey on the last made it a two-horse race.
Herbert then found water off the final tee on the way to a closing double-bogey to finish tied second alongside Pepperell at 19-under-par and three shots behind Lewis.
South Korea’s Soomin Lee finished with a 64 to get to 17-under-par alongside Swede Marcus Kinhult, one clear of Lowry.
Sergio Garcia warmed up for The Ryder Cup with a closing 65 to finish at 15 under par with local favourite Ricardo Gouveia, Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin, Finn Kim Koivu and England’s Oliver Fisher – who will never forget his week after carding the European Tour’s first 59 on Friday.
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