Ireland’s Shane Lowry believes he has the ability to win the Open Championship in the future.
The 27-year-old capped a good week at Royal Liverpool by storming up the leaderboard on the final day to finish 10 under with a superb seven-under-par 65.
As he left the 18th for the clubhouse, his 278 aggregate put him comfortably inside the top 10 and on course for his best finish in a major.
Lowry, runner-up to Rory McIlroy at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May, said: “To shoot 65 in the final round of a major, especially when you’re looking at the top of the leaderboard, makes me feel good about myself.
“I know if I have a chance down the line that is there, I can play the golf.
“I’m very comfortable in these surroundings. I love links golf and I think I’m good in bad conditions.
“I’m hopefully going to play another 15 or 20 Opens in my career.
“I think I could do it down the line. If I give myself the chance to do it, I know I can do it on Sunday.”
Lowry, whose previous best at a major was 32nd, made a slow start to 2014, missing the cut in six of his first eight starts.
That means a charge for a place on the European Ryder Cup team for Gleneagles in September is now unlikely, but Lowry said that had not even crossed his mind.
Lowry, whose birdie on the 18th was one of seven in his bogey-free final round, said: “That putt on the last would have helped, but I think I’d have to go over to the (US) PGA (Championship) in a few weeks and do something extra special over there to even have a half a sniff of getting near the team.
“I haven’t thought about it all year and I’m not going to start thinking about it now.”
As McIlroy went on to complete victory in the tournament, Lowry’s final finishing position – seven shots off the lead – was confirmed as tied ninth alongside Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson.