Shane Lowry left Augusta National with a wide smile on his face and a piece of crystal that was his reward for a hard and sometimes difficult week’s work at the Masters.
The Irishman’s hole in one at the 16th last night was the first of three aces at the 16th: Lowry’s effort was followed by Davis Love III and Louis Oosthuizen.
For Lowry, it was a perfect eight iron over 180 yards at the par three, giving him the boost he needed as he closed the curtain on his second Masters appearance that began with a 68 and a tie for second place on Thursday but gradually slid away from his control.
The eagle hole in one at 16 and a birdie at the 18th helped lift the gloom on a day he added a final-round 75 to Friday’s 76 and Saturday’s 79, which left him 10 over par for the tournament. And the ace will live long in the memory.
“It was amazing to have a hole-in-one on 16 around here in the final round,” Lowry said. “I just wish I would have been able to come up with more birdies but it was a perfect shot. I just hit it in right of the hole and it just took it down in.
“I feel pretty lucky to have a hole-in-one around this place, in this tournament. So, yeah, it’s nice. I’m sure I’ll get a picture somewhere and frame it in the house and it will be nice memento to have.”
When Lowry collected his ball from the hole, he pretended to throw it into the gallery but there was no chance it would be leaving his possession.
“It was a nice roar. No, I wasn’t giving the ball away. My last hole-in-one in competition my parents were there as well, actually, and it was in Dubai and I still have the ball from that. So I feel like I’ll keep that one,” he said before reflecting on the other positives he will take from a week which began with him turning 29.
“There’s a lot of good positives to take out of it. I played, I feel like my iron play was quite good for most of the week. Just a few bad breaks here and there the last couple of days and I feel like I could have been a little bit closer to the lead, but that’s the way majors golf is and that’s the way this course is. So, every week you play a major, especially the Masters, is a learning curve and I learned a lot this week and I’m sure I’ll take it with me in the future.”
While Lowry did not add the Masters to his top-10 finishes at the 2014 Open and 2015 US Open, the Offaly man, reigning WGC-Bridgestone Invitational champion and world number 32 will still take plenty of encouragement from his experience last week as he turns his attention to the rest of the season, a place on Ireland’s Olympic team and achieving his ambition of playing for Europe in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in September.
“I’m quite a ways away from that now, obviously, Olympics I’m on the team as it stands, but Ryder Cup is kind of one of the main goals, for sure.
“I feel like my game’s okay, there’s no alarm bells ringing, so I just need to get on with it and I got three weeks off now to kind of regroup and get back for Wells Fargo.”
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