Shane Lowry’s superb display secures US Open slot

Shane Lowry secured his place in next month’s US Open with another superb display at the BMW PGA Championship.

Lowry arrived at Tour Headquarters lying 55th on the World Rankings and needing to finish inside the top-50 to secure his place at Chambers Bay.

The Carton House pro has done that on the back of rounds of 74, 67, 67 and 69 for a share of sixth on 11-under par.

Little known 23-year old Korean-born Byeong Hun An caused the biggest upset in the event’s history storming to a six shot triumph in a first appearance in the event.

An, who gained some fame in becoming the youngest winner of the US Amateur in 2009, set a Wentworth four-round record shooting a last round 65 for a 21-under par total. An earns a 10-year Tour exemption, a three-year British Open exemption and leaps from 132nd in the world to just outside the top-50. Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (69) and Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez (67) were joint runner-up at 15-under par.

Lowry will contest this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and then take two weeks off before heading back to the US West Coast for a third occasion this year for the US Open which begins on June 18.

It will be only Lowry’s third appearance in the year’s traditional second Major but a first time he’s earned full exemption rights after having had to tee-up in a 36-hole qualifier that again is being staged today at Walton Health.

However Lowry then revealed had he not qualified for the US Open by being among the world’s top-60 at the close of last night’s PGA Tour event in Texas, he would not have teed-up today at Walton Heath.

“I felt I would have been incredibly unlucky and that’s not a feeling I would want to be taking to something such as important as teeing up at Walton Heath.

“But then I can now go to the Irish Open with the weight of US Open qualifying expectation now off my shoulders.”

Lowry’s final round was a mix of just three birdies but what delighted him most was no bogeys for a third day running.

“It’s just so pleasing not to have any bogeys over the past three rounds, and also nicer to get myself back up to the top of a leader board again since finishing so close last year.

“So I am just happy now to be going into an Irish Open showing a bit of form and hopefully I can do something special there.” And it’s not lost on that Royal County Down is located just over 100km north of Baltray, where the then amateur international captured the 2009 Irish Open.

“I’ve only played Royal County Down a few times but then it is my home tournament and I will be going there with a lot of enthusiasm.

“And it’s not far from Baltray and just about an hour up the road, so you never know.”

Darren Clarke will also head to Royal County Down buoyed by a final day 66 for a two under par tally and a share of 38th.

Clarke, who is yet to win an Irish Open, capped his round with a pair of closing birdies.

Graeme McDowell and Peter Lawrie shared 59th on two over par and with Lawrie eagling the 17th in a score of 74 while McDowell was a shot fewer.


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