PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — This time, Shane Lowry held firm with a lead at a major championship.
Lowry, a 32-year-old Irishman with a thick beard and an easy smile, won the British Open by six strokes at Royal Portrush on Sunday despite gusting winds and often-heavy rain.
His umbrella collapsed at one stage on the front nine, but Lowry never did the same on a challenging afternoon when even par was quite an accomplishment.
His final round of 72 allowed him to finish at 15 under par and to win the first British Open played on the island of Ireland since 1951. It is Lowry’s first major win and only his second PGA Tour victory, his other one coming at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in 2015.
In 2016, Lowry also held a four-shot lead heading into the final round of the United States Open at Oakmont Country Club but struggled to handle the pressure, shooting a six-over-par 76 and finishing tied for second behind the champion, Dustin Johnson.
Three years later, he started the final round at Portrush with a four-stroke lead over the English golfer Tommy Fleetwood.
But Fleetwood could never get closer than three strokes from Lowry on Sunday. Though Lowry did have his tense moments, including a string of three bogeys in four holes, he stabilized his game on the closing holes. He birdied the 15th to give himself a six-stroke cushion over Fleetwood.