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Amateur Shane Lowry wins Irish Open
17 May 2009
by Peter Conroy of amateurgolf.com

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Update May 21, 2009: Shane Lowry has announced that he will turn pro, and that his first professional event will be the European Open in England.

"My Irish Open win has provided me with a unique opportunity to ease myself into the professional game by playing in some of the biggest tournaments in Europe over the coming months," Lowry said in a statement. "I can now go out on tour under no pressure and just concentrate on playing golf and enjoying the whole experience."
BALTRAY, Ireland (May 17, 2009) - In front of a rabidly partisan crowd, Irish amateur Shane Lowry defeated British pro Robert Rock on the third playoff hole of the Irish Open to become the third am to win a European Tour event.

The 22-year-old Lowry finished at 17-under-par 271, with Rock, while Sweden's Johan Edfors took third at 15-under 269.

Anguished groans came from the crowd when Lowry missed his chance to put the tournament away with a four-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole. But Lowry, who moved up to 8th in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Player Rankings, kept his nerve, salvaging par after driving into a nasty pot bunker on the first playoff hole (his third shot on the par five was from well over 200-yards out) and winning on the third playoff hole with a tap-in par.

Rock had to settle for his second runner-up finish in as many weeks, but has a 650,000 check to ease those woes.

Lowry, already a likely candidate for the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team earns a two-year exemption if he decides to turn professional.

"I thought I had missed my chance when I missed that short putt in normal play - I couldn't believe it," Lowry told the BBC after the victory.

"Rory (McIlroy) was at the back of the green and he said a few words to me as I left the 18th green. He just told me that I was still in it and I had to keep going" he said. "This is life-changing stuff and I think I will have a busy week ahead."

Danny Lee and Pablo Martin are the other amateurs to win European Tour events.

Final scores with relation to par and earnings from the Irish Open, played May 14-17 at the par-72, 7,063-yard County Louth Golf Club in Baltray, Ireland (Note: x-won in playoff; a-amateur; earnings in euros):

1. x/a-Shane Lowry 67-62-71-71--271
2. Robert Rock 66-65-69-71--271
3. Johan Edfors 64-70-68-71--273
4. Nick Dougherty 66-67-73-69--275
4. Marc Warren 67-69-71-68--275
6. Alastair Forsyth 67-68-71-70--276
7. Roope Kakko 66-67-76-69--278
8. Thomas Levet 67-66-73-73--279
8. Brett Rumford 73-66-72-68--279
10. Richard Bland 71-68-71-70--280
10. Anthony Wall 72-68-71-69--280
10. Chris Wood 69-67-76-68--280
13. Jamie Donaldson 66-65-78-72--281
14. Darren Clarke 71-68-73-70--282
14. Rafa Echenique 69-67-75-71--282
14. David Horsey 70-67-78-67--282
14. Pablo Martin 70-65-77-70--282
14. Andrew McLardy 69-66-77-70--282
14. Oliver Wilson 66-68-76-72--282
20. Rafael Cabrera-Bello 67-69-79-68--283
20. Anders Hansen 68-68-76-71--283
20. Thongchai Jaidee 69-70-72-72--283
20. Michael Lorenzo-Vera 69-69-73-72--283
20. Graeme Storm 70-69-76-68--283
25. Thomas Bjorn 71-67-73-73--284
25. Stephen Dodd 70-67-74-73--284
25. Gary Murphy 70-69-75-70--284
25. Louis Oosthuizen 68-69-78-69--284
25. Lee Slattery 67-69-75-73--284
30. Soren Kjeldsen 67-67-78-73--285
30. Pablo Larrazabal 68-70-76-71--285
30. Paul Lawrie 66-66-77-76--285
30. Gary Orr 68-67-74-76--285
30. Lee Westwood 68-66-77-74--285
35. Paul Broadhurst 71-69-73-73--286
35. David Drysdale 69-68-80-69--286
35. Shiv Kapur 66-71-76-73--286
35. Simon Khan 72-68-74-72--286
35. Charl Schwartzel 72-67-72-75--286
35. Mads Vibe-Hastrup 72-68-77-69--286
41. David Carter 71-69-73-74--287
41. Simon Dyson 71-68-80-68--287
41. Martin Erlandsson 68-72-73-74--287
41. Niclas Fasth 71-68-78-70--287
41. Marcus Fraser 69-71-76-71--287
41. Peter Hedblom 68-72-77-70--287
41. Raphael Jacquelin 71-66-75-75--287
41. Maarten Lafeber 69-70-77-71--287
41. Colin Montgomerie 70-65-72-80--287
50. Robert-Jan Derksen 69-69-73-77--288
50. Ross Fisher 70-67-77-74--288
50. Sam Little 72-66-78-72--288
50. Rory Mcilroy 69-68-76-75--288
50. Jose Maria Olazabal 71-67-75-75--288
50. Jarmo Sandelin 70-70-74-74--288
50. Patrik Sjoland 73-67-73-75--288
57. Soren Hansen 71-68-79-71--289
57. Damien Mcgrane 69-71-75-74--289
57. Alexander Noren 70-70-79-70--289
57. Marcel Siem 69-68-78-74--289
61. S.S.P. Chowrasia 74-66-79-71--290
61. Gregory Havret 70-66-79-75--290
61. José Manuel Lara 67-68-77-78--290
61. Paul Waring 72-67-80-71--290
65. Julien Clement 67-70-75-79--291
65. Steve Webster 70-68-77-76--291
67. Emanuele Canonica 69-70-77-76--292
67. Paul Mcginley 71-68-77-76--292
69. Gary Lockerbie 69-70-77-77--293
70. Wil Besseling 69-66-79-80--294
71. a-Pedro Figueiredo 72-67-78-79--296
72. Michael Jonzon 71-69-78-81--299
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