Lowry climbs into Ryder Cup automatic qualification places for the first time after The Open

Collin Morikawa remained ice-cool in the blistering heat on Sunday, becoming Champion Golfer of the Year in his first time at the event. Now a two-time major champion at the age of 24, Morikawa shot a final round of 66 with three birdies to close out the front nine.

Challengers came and went, Jordan Spieth asked the most questions, recovering from a poor start to earn himself a 66. He’ll rue a poor finish to his third round but can be pleased with his efforts. Elsewhere, Jon Rahm threatened to challenge the leaders by charging up the field, but eventually fell four shots short.

Louis Oosthuizen had looked in control all week but it was another near miss for 2010 champion. He’ll be disappointed with his final round of 71.

The links course at Royal St George’s stood up to the test of the world’s best golfers after a low-scoring first day threatened to turn the Championship into a birdie-frenzy. The heat and tough pin positions meant scoring was higher over the weekend. It was nice to see straight drives rewarded, as anything wayward was gobbled up by the thick rough.

Royal Portrush

The Irish challenge for another claret jug saw Shane Lowry on a flurry for a short while on Sunday afternoon with many loyal fans willing him to succeed. A poor start to the back nine put paid to his chances of defending the title he won in spectacular fashion two years ago at Royal Portrush. However, Shane can be proud of his efforts, his defence finished with a tied 12th at -6.

After his round Shane said “I obviously would have liked to have finished a little bit better, but it’s a pretty nice result in a big tournament and another good performance”. This moves Shane into an automatic qualifying place for the European team set to defend the Ryder Cup in September. Unfortunately Rory McIlroy failed to excel as too many missed putts left him on level par. Finally there’s our veteran, Padraig Harrington, who’s enjoyed a stellar year for someone of his age but would have been disappointed with his +4 finish.

As for the British challenge, it was left to the Scottish prospect Robert MacIntyre to again rack up a good finish. After a tied sixth finish two years ago, the young man from Oban finished at -7 in tied 8th place.

Attention will now be on the 150th Open at St Andrew’s next year, which promises to be another special week.

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