Open champion Shane Lowry: It was like an out of body experience!

Shane Lowry admits he can’t quite describe what it felt like to win the Open Championship in front of a jubilant Royal Portrush crowd.

The Irishman kept his cool amid horrible conditions to sign for a gutsy one-over-par 72 and finish a full six strokes clear of nearest rival Tommy Fleetwood.

It was a champion’s performance for the champion golfer of the year, and Lowry will probably have to pinch himself a few more times before the night is over.

“It’s like an out of body experience!” he said. “I was so calm coming down the last, I cannot believe it.

“The weather was awful but I had a look around, and everyone was struggling. It became a two horse race with Tommy, and I just tried to focus on staying ahead.

“I talked to my caddie Bo a lot today, I said ‘I cannot stop thinking about winning, holding the claret jug’. He just said, ‘stay focused’, and what a job he did today. I cannot wait to wake up tomorrow and feel what it feels like – it is phenomenal.”

On the fantastic scenes he sparked around the 18th green at Royal Portrush, he added: “To have an event like this at this place, on the island of Ireland, at one of my favourite places is just great.

“The next tournament will probably feel boring! They (the crowd) were with me the whole way and kept me going.”

An emotional Lowry also paid special tribute to his family, his caddie Bo Martin and his entire team, who were with him every step of the way.

“My coach Neil, caddie Bo, my management I definitely wouldn’t be standing here without them,” he said.

“My family, what can I say… my Mum and Dad – they sacrificed so much for me when I was young and I am so happy I can hand them this trophy tonight.

“To have my wife and Iris here tonight is extra special. My wife and baby, it doesn’t get any more special than that. And to all the volunteers and all the fans – this one’s for you!”