Playoff win for Lowry and McIlroy in Zurich Classic thriller

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry edged out Chad Ramey and Martin Trainer in a playoff to claim the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana.

Both teams were tied on 25-under after rounds of 68 and 63 respectively although Ramey and Trainer had to wait over three hours between their 72nd hole and the playoff.

That told as Lowry and McIlroy made par at the first playoff hole, the 18th, and Ramey and Trainer made a bogey six.

It’s the first time an Irish team has won the event while McIlroy was making his debut. The victory gives Lowry an exemption into the final three Signature Events of the season on the PGA Tour and some crucial Fedex Cup points for the duo who were both ranked outside the top-40 heading into the event.

After finding themselves one over and five off the pace after six holes, the pair birdied four of their next five holes to catapult themselves into contention.

Now just one shot outside of a potential playoff, McIlroy holed for birdie on 16 and after they bogeyed the par-3 17th, McIlroy hit a beautiful pitch to four-feet which Lowry holed to force extra holes.

Despite Lowry missing for a winning birdie from 12-feet on the 73rd, Ramey and Trainer were unable to find a par.

For McIlroy, it’s a 25th win on the PGA Tour which lifts him level with Johnny Miller.

“Absolutely amazing. We’ve had an awesome week here in New Orleans. The crowds all week have been absolutely amazing. To get the support that we’ve had out there and to have so much fun while doing it, it’s been an awesome week, and obviously I feel like it’s just a bonus to win at the end. But couldn’t be better to have this man alongside me to get a PGA TOUR win together.”

Lowry was delighted to earn some much needed FedEx Cup points although he wasn’t too sure he deserved them after a scrappy Sunday performance.

“Yeah, it’s great. Saying it was much needed, but we felt like coming into the week that we both could do with a big jump in the FedExCup, and we both said at the start of the week, let’s go and get 400 points each. That’s what we’ve done, and I nearly feel a little bit bad taking them because Rory carried me a lot of the way. But yeah, they’re mine, and they’re not going away.”

The Offaly man had struggled on the greens all week and as Ryan Brehm and Mark Hubbard deliberated over a drop from a sprinkler head, Lowry was forced to wait for his four foot bride putt, which made what seemed like a routine putt much more difficult.

“It was a short putt but I’ve been struggling recently on the greens and I missed one today, as well. Yeah, just had to dig a little bit deeper. Yeah, it was nice to win. Look, it’s disappointing for the lads to finish the way they did, but we’ve had just the best week. Anytime this man wants to partner with me, I’ll be happy to do so.”


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