Shane Lowry left Chambers Bay on Sunday night with a US Open top-10 finish and the confidence he has the game and temperament to contend at the highest level.
Lowry, 28, finished in a tie for ninth on level-par alongside Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, the world numbers one and 10 respectively, five shots behind new champion Jordan Spieth following a closing one-over-par 71 comprising five birdies and six bogeys.
Wasn't to be for me today. Really enjoyed the buzz of contending on the Sunday of a major. Thanks so much to everyone for your support.— Shane Lowry (@ShaneLowryGolf) June 22, 2015
One of those bogeys came at the last for a disappointing end to an impressive week for the Irishman who started the final round three off the pace and with a genuine shot at carving out his first Major championship victory.
Shane Lowry happy with his week's work pic.twitter.com/Dvh5RGK4nw— Midlands103Sport (@MidlandsSport) June 22, 2015
Yet as Lowry prepared to fly to Germany for this week's BMW International Open, he can expect to land back in Europe having returned to the world's top 50 in the rankings, and much closer to securing a PGA Tour card after picking up a cheque for more than $235,000 (€206,000).
“I feel like I played the golf today to really have a chance to win at the end,” Lowry said.
“A couple of short putts for par that you can't be doing on days like this. I just didn't really -- I just didn't do enough.
“Holed a few more putts would have had a chance coming in on the last few. Even still, I was thinking if I could get to three (under), if I could birdie 17 and 18 when I was playing them.
“It was a good week for me, I'm probably back inside top 50 in the world. I don't know how far I'm away from my card over here now. But a few goals have been reached. Yeah, it was a decent day.”
Lowry said it had been a long final day at always gruelling US Open, but felt he now had a great experience to draw on for future Major championships.
“Long morning this morning, I was awake at 7:30 this morning. It was a long day,” Lowry said.
“You hope to learn from things like today.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my week, to be honest. Loved the golf course, I loved how tough it played. Tends to suit me a lot, tough golf courses. Overall I'm pretty pleased at how I played.
“When you walk away from a major championship and you feel like you played the golf to win you've got to be happy with yourself.”