Despite four rounds in the 60s that included 66, 69, 69 and a last day 67 Lowry was among three players to share second at 13-under par and two adrift of 21-year old England-born Matt Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, the youngest player in the field, sealed a maiden tour success in his 34th tour event and with his €671,549 first prize cheque lifting him to the top of the Ryder Cup points table. Lowry singled out the shortest club in his bag as the biggest drawback all week and taking 31 putts on the final day to average just over 30 putts for the week.
“I have never gone away from a tournament feeling like I should have won until today. My putting was woeful, I was always hitting inside 10ft and hardly making any. But I take nothing away from Michael as it’s a great first victory as a pro,” he said.
Lowry went into the last day trailing three behind and managed to get as close as one adrift of the lead with a birdie at the sixth. However, he didn’t leave totally short-changed collecting a prize for €300,464 to move up two spots to fourth on the Race to Dubai and sixth on the Ryder Cup points table.
Graeme McDowell ended his run of 11 straight under par rounds these last three weeks carding a one over par 72 to finish at five under par and a shot fewer than fellow Irishman Michael Hoey, 71, and Pádraig Harrington ended with a 70 for a three under par tally.
Meanwhile, England’s Tom Murray was inspired by his paralysed girlfriend as he drained a 30 footer on the second extra hole to snatch his maiden win in the Volopa Irish Challenge hosted by Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa and Golf Resort. The 25-year old son of former European Tour winner Andrew, Murray went into the final round three strokes adrift of leader Nino Bertasio of Italy.
But he birdied the last from 25ft for a four under 67 that gave him the clubhouse lead on 16 under par and a share of top spot with Bertasio and England’s Robert Coles, who were in the final group.
Veteran Coles (73) made a quadruple bogey eight at the 17th to slip to tied fifth, however, and when Bertasio (70) missed birdie chances from 12 feet at the 17th and 18th, sudden-death was required.
Both players missed birdie chances on their return to the 413-yard 18th the first time around before Murray drained a 30 footer across the green for birdie and looked on as Bertasio’s 20 footer to stay alive failed to drop.
The champion confessed that he was inspired by his girlfriend Sophie Carrigill, 21, who plays wheelchair basketball for Britain after being paralysed in a 2010 car crash.
“Sophie plays elite sport herself and studies psychology as well, so you couldn’t have a more perfect role model and inspiration for me,” said Murray, who won €28,800.
“I started putting her initials on my ball to remind me that if I hit a bad golf shot, it really doesn’t matter.” Derry’s Michael McGeady (71) and Ruaidhri McGee (69) led the Irish challenge in tied 30th on five under with Chris Selfridge (72) and Rory McNamara (75) a shot further back.