Fortune favours the brave: The winners and losers from the final day of the Open

At the end of a thrilling championship, Kevin Markham looks at the winners and losers on the closing day of the Open.

Fortune favours the brave: The winners and losers from the final day of the Open

At the end of a thrilling championship, Kevin Markham looks at the winners and losers on the closing day of the Open.

Winners

Royal Portrush and Northern Ireland

The course looked magnificent and golfers around the world will be queuing up to play here and the courses nearby.

Shane’s bogey-free 63 course record will stand for a long long time.

And Shane officially becomes an Irish legend.

Losers

TV Viewings will have dropped in the US, with Tiger missing the cut.

Losing Rory was a big disappointment, too, as well as a big surprise.

Fortunately, Shane carried the nation’s hopes in his place.

Comedy of the Day

Watching a marshal early on on the 2nd tee practising his cricket stroke when he thought no one was watching...Sky Sports was!

An errant £5 note went scuttling across a fairway, caught in the wind.

A nation held its breath until it was finally snaffled up by a marshal...who undoubtedly returned it to its rightful owner.

Quote of the Championship

“You come to 16 and make a 2. Are you feeding off the energy of the crowd at this point?” Sky Sports asked Shane Lowry after Saturday’s 63.

“Honestly, every time I get a putt I just want to hole it because of the roar, I just want to hear that roar again,” Shane replied.

I said to Bo walking off the 17th tee, I said that next half an hour we might never experience anything like it again so let’s enjoy it. And that’s what I did.

And he enjoyed it again tenfold on Sunday.

Weather Quote of the Day

“I’m wetter than an otter’s pocket,” quipped Andrew Coltart during the worst of the rain.

Most Important Shot of the Day

Shane on the 1st hole. His putt from nine feet, for bogey, must have looked like he was trying to put a ball into a thimble from 100 yards away...but he nailed it and went on to birdie two of the next three holes.

It settled him, when a double bogey could have rocked him.

Shane’s Shots of the Day

From 187 yards on the 4th, Shane Lowry helped to steady the ship as he hit his approach shot to seven feet and then sank the putt for birdie.

It put him five ahead.

With 203 yards to go on the 8th, from deep rough, Shane showed that fortune favours the brave.

His ball landed short right of the green, heading directly for a bunker, only to kick forward off the slope while also kicking left, finishing on the green.

Disaster of the Day

Justin Rose’s shanked approach shot on the 9th was not something you expect to see from a recently deposed Number 1 golfer.

JB Holmes started with a hooked drive out of bounds and walked off the 1st with a double bogey.

It didn’t get any better for the leader after Day 1 and Day 2, as he recorded six bogeys, four double bogeys, one triple bogey and just one birdie.

His final round 87 took him from 10-under to six-over.

It made Justin Rose’s 79 look rather pedestrian!

Walk of the Day

Yosuke Asaji, from Japan, was putting for birdie on the par three 6th.

He struck his ball from about 20 feet and, like amateur golfers everywhere, he marched after it knowing that he’d missed.

A few feet from the hole the ball curled to the right and Asaji’s walk had the slightest hiccup as he realised it was going in.

He carried on as if he always knew he’d made it...like amateur golfers everywhere.

Shane’s Day. Was it Written?

Shane had the statistics all in his favour at this year’s Open.

After 54 holes he had the lowest 54-hole total in the modern era of the Championship.

His 197 strokes beat Tom Lehman’s 198 in 1996.

Sky also showed that the average ranking of the Open winner since the OWGR began was 33...and that the average age of the winner in the past 50 years was 32.4.

Guess what ranking Shane is… and his age. Bingo!

Cliché of the Day

“We’re punching way above our weight,” said McGinley...at least once.

Potty Putting

As well as Lee Westwood played on the last two days, it was his putting that once again let him down...especially from short range.

A handful of missed putts from just a few feet sums up Lee Westwood’s career and the almost-man tag.

Round of the Day

Yes, Shane, obviously, but Francesco Molinari had a bogey-free round of 66.

It lifted him 43 places on the leaderboard, up to Tied 11th, and it signed off his title defence in fine style.

Greatest Moment of the Tournament

Could it be anything else?

Those final 10 minutes as Shane approached the 18th green, followed by the moments after the final putt.

It was glorious to see.

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