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Lowry becomes third amateur to win on European Tour



Baltray, Ireland (Sports Network) - Despite missing a birdie putt on 18th hole in regulation, Irish amateur Shane Lowry was victorious at the Irish Open on Sunday thanks to a two-putt par on the third playoff hole.

"I didn't think I would have a better chance than that," admitted Lowry of his birdie chance on the final hole of regulation.

Robert Rock joined Lowry in the playoff after Lowry's miss on the 72nd hole. Both players carded one-under 71s to finish at 17-under-par 271.

They returned to the 18th for the first extra hole. Both players two-putted for par -- Lowry from 40 feet and Rock from eight feet -- to extend the playoff at County Louth Golf Club.

Back at the 18th for the second playoff hole, Rock found a greenside bunker with his second, while Lowry knocked his second to the par-five within 10 feet.

After Rock blasted to eight feet, Lowry left his eagle attempt short and tapped in for birdie. Rock then drained his eight-footer for birdie to send the duo back to the 18th tee for the third extra hole.

Their two tee shots were feet apart, Rock on a muddy cart path and Lowry in the rough. Both players played down the fairway with their second. Lowry knocked his third to 18 feet.

Rock's approach bounded over the green and he chipped to six feet. After Lowry missed his birdie try, Rock missed his par-saving putt.

Lowry then kicked in a one-foot par putt for the win.

"I can't believe it. This is going to take a long time to sink in," said Lowry, who will decide Monday whether to turn professional or remain an amateur. "I know my life is about to change forever. I'd be mad not to [turn professional]."

The young Irishman joins Pablo Martin and Danny Lee as the only three amateurs to win on the European Tour. Lee won earlier this season in February.

Johan Edfors briefly had a piece of the lead in the final round, but could only manage a one-under 71 to take third at 15-under-par 273. Marc Warren (68) and Nick Dougherty (69) shared fourth place at minus-13.

Lowry took the early lead with a two-putt birdie on the third. Rock birdied the sixth to join Lowry in the lead. Lowry stumbled to a three-putt bogey on the ninth to fall one back, then slipped two shots behind as he also bogeyed the 11th.

Rock missed the green at the 12th and that led to a bogey. He dropped into a tie for the lead with Edfors, who then bogeyed No. 13 to fall one back.

Lowry sank a six-footer for birdie on 14 to regain a piece of the lead. He reclaimed the top spot on the leaderboard with an eight-foot birdie putt on 16. However, Rock ran home a 22-footer for birdie at 17 to join Lowry at minus-17.

At the 18th in regulation, Rock two-putted for par from 25 feet, giving Lowry a chance at the win. Lowry pulled his four-foot birdie try left of the hole and it was off to the playoff where Lowry bested Rock as both players were going for their first European Tour title.

Rock posted his second straight runner-up finish and third of the season.

Alastair Forsyth carded a two-under 70 to take sixth at 12-under-par 276. Roope Kakko was two strokes further back at minus-10 after a final-round 69. Brett Rumford (68) and Thomas Levet (73) shared eighth place nine-under-par 279.

05/17 14:20:00 ET


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