Shane Lowry was looking forward to heading home for the first time since February after the Clara golfer grabbed a hard-earned top-10 finish at the PGA Championship at Bethpage Park.
The 31-year old made the cut on the number on Friday in New York when he brilliantly birdied the par-3 17th before two-putting for par at the last to reach the halfway point at four-over par.
And Lowry went on to achieve something the champion, Brooks Koepka couldn’t even manage from there, shooting three straight rounds in the 60s when he added a closing 69 to his moving day 68 to claim a share of 8th at one-over par.
“I suppose if you had told me at the start of the week I was going to shoot three rounds under par around here, [I’d have thought] I would have a chance to win,” Lowry reflected. “Look, I’m obviously very happy with my week.
“Honestly, I felt like I played great. I felt like I was so in control the last three days. Thursday was a bit of a write-off but the last three days have just felt great.
“I was on the range on Friday morning and I was hitting a few, and I just found a rhythm. Just found it. It felt good for the last couple of days, and it’s funny, you just find something on the range and I just found it. It was nothing to do with my swing. It was just a time and a rhythm thing.
“But the year has gone along nicely so far. There’s a nice few World Ranking points, FedExCup points, Race to Dubai points there on offer today. I feel like I’m doing all the right things and I just keep doing what I’m doing and see where it leaves me in November and December.”
The result is a hugely beneficial one for Lowry who picked up a cheque worth
$264,395 for the finish along with 80 valuable FedExCup points ahead of a busy summer’s golf. What’s more, Lowry has cracked the top-40 in the world golf rankings, jumping six places to number 39 ahead of a fortnight’s break.
“You take out my first round, but even at that, I probably wasn’t going to be contending. But hey, I was contending close to the top of the leaderboard. It’s nice to be out there late on a Sunday and especially around here.
“I quite enjoyed it. It’s quite loud out there, but I just enjoy being out there and I enjoy kind of being in – I felt like I was in the heat of the battle today, and that was really nice.”
With the Black Course behind him, Lowry only had eyes for one place after that.
“To be honest, I haven’t been home in Ireland since February, so we are going home next week. I can’t wait to get home. I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks off and playing in Canada and the U.S. Open.”