Lowry year hits new high with love match

Shane Lowry might be chasing a $1.25m (€1m) pay day in Sun City this week but he’s already feeling like a winner after breaking into the world’s Top 50 and getting engaged.

Lowry year hits new high with love match

The 27-year old Offaly man proposed to his girlfriend Wendy Iris Honner in Dubai last week, getting down on one knee on the beach to pop the question to the girl whose name is even stamped on one of his wedges.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” Lowry said before jetting out from Dubai to South Africa for this week’s $6.5m Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

“Wendy’s a great girl and we’re both looking forward to our future together. It’s the icing on the cake, at the end of a great year.

“We can’t wait to get home and celebrate with our friends and families over Christmas.”

The 30-man Nedbank Golf Challenge is the first event of the 2015 European Tour season and Lowry, who will earn $100,000 even if he finishes last in the 30-man field, wants to end the year on a high and move up from his current position of 47th in the world.

“I feel like I can compete at the highest level but I need to start knocking a few tournaments on the head and I feel like I am playing the golf to do it,” Lowry said.

Meanwhile Jordan Spieth saved his best for last — and produced an unintentional touching moment — as a sensational eight-under-par final round lifted him to victory in the Australian Open.

Spieth carded 63 in Sydney, a number that will resonate with a lot of Australians as that was the score cricketer Phillip Hughes was on before he died on Thursday from injuries in a domestic game in the same city.

The American finished with a flourish on what would have been Hughes’ 26th birthday on Sunday, a score that lifted him to 13-under and a six-shot win at the Australian Golf Club.

It is the highly-talented Spieth’s second career victory, having broken his duck on the PGA Tour at the John Deere Classic last year.

Rod Pampling finished as runner-up on seven-under overall after a commendable 68 while Australian compatriots Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers were third and fourth respectively.

World number three Adam Scott, who lost on the final hole in this event to Rory McIlroy a year ago, managed a top-five finish this year.

McIlroy’s hopes of defending his title were dashed on Saturday, when a triple and double bogey on successive holes around the turn dropped him from a share of the lead to five shots off the pace, and he finished on two-over after his final-round 72.

Spieth admitted afterwards that he had never played better.

“That was definitely the best round I’ve ever played,” he said.

“At the start I didn’t think such a round was out there, but the putts kept going in. It was an awesome experience.”

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