The Irishman carded a final round 67 in Kentucky to finish at one under for the tournament, and as the rain that would quickly lead to a deluge and a suspension of play began to fall, Lowry could not help but refer back to his opening-hole nightmare at the outset of his second round.
In the midst of darkness and a downpour, the world No. 57 was forced to get his round underway, even as surface water was gathering on the first fairway and green. Lowry and playing partner Ryan Palmer called for a referee before playing their second shots, and the European Tour’s John Paramor, while sympathetic, told them they must continue.
Lowry, who had followed his tie for ninth at last month’s Open Championship with a three-under 68 on Thursday, bogeyed the first before play was eventually suspended. Worse was to come, as the golfers were made to wait out on the course as the rain continued to fall and play did not resume for 50 minutes.
The situation continued to upset the BMW PGA Championship runner-up, who then bogeyed the second hole on resumption to shoot a three-over 74, the same number he carded in his third round.
Sunday’s final-round 67 before the latest downpour at least brought a smile back to Lowry’s face, although the ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’ will continue for some time.
“Delighted with the way I played today,” he said. “Disappointing to bogey 15 and 16 but made a few saves as well, holed a few putts.
“Thinking about it now, I look back on Friday morning as the killer. That was a real momentum-stopper for me. You think what might have been if that hadn’t happened but it was nice to birdie the last there and shoot under par for the tournament.”
Lowry repeated the suggestion he had made to Paramor on Friday that the presence of a box-office name like Tiger Woods on the golf course at that moment might have led to a different outcome.
“Maybe if it was a few different people on that green, it might have been a different story. The fact it was a few lesser-known guys, I think made all the difference.
“Even Sergio [Garcia] said it to me yesterday, Henrik Stenson said it, there’s no way we should have been out there and, not alone that, we shouldn’t have been kept out there.”
“It’s very disappointing and I’ll look back on it next week when I’m sitting down and I’ll be quite annoyed about it.”
Such was Lowry’s form coming into Valhalla on the back of his highest major championship finish at Hoylake last month, that his strong start to the PGA gave the Clara golfer high hopes for the week and beyond, to a possible Ryder Cup wild card.
“Trying to get into the top 50 in the world but not only that, after shooting three under in the first round, things do start creeping into your head. You see Bernd Wiesberger up there at the top of the leaderboard and, you know, why can’t that be me, give something for [Ryder Cup captain] Paul McGinley to think about in a few weeks. But it’s all over now and I just have to get on with things.”