Ireland’s Shane Lowry will take a four shot lead into the final round of the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Here, we look at the Major Championship winners over the last decade from the island of Ireland that Lowry is trying to emulate.
2010 U.S. OPEN – Graeme McDowell
Tony Jacklin was the last European winner of the trophy in 1970 and with Dustin Johnson three clear at Pebble Beach after 54 holes it did not look good again. But Johnson had an early triple and double bogey, crashed to an 82 and world number 37 McDowell held his nerve. “Careers are defined by major championships and my career’s off and running today,” he said.
2011 U.S. OPEN – Rory McIlroy
Two months after a closing 80 when four ahead at the Masters, McIlroy started at Congressional with a 65. From three in front he went six clear with a 66, then eight ahead with a 68, setting 36-hole and 54-hole records. “At Augusta it was all a bit new to me. I have a clear mind now,” the 22-year-old said after completing an eight-shot win.
2011 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP – Darren Clarke
English amateur Tom Lewis and 2003 Sandwich runner-up Thomas Bjorn led after opening with 65s, but at halfway it was Clarke and American Lucas Glover out in front. A Saturday 69, one of only three sub-70 scores in the wind and rain, left Clarke one ahead and at the 20th attempt he became Open champion. “The Open is the biggest and best tournament in the world. Nineteen times I’ve failed, now I’ve won – it’s a dream come true,” he said.
2012 US PGA CHAMPIONSHIP – Rory McIlroy
Sweden’s Carl Pettersson was the surprise leader after an opening 66 and shared the halfway lead with Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, but McIlroy surged clear with his second 67 of the week in the weather-delayed third round. A closing 66 gave the 23-year-old a second major title and a second eight-shot winning margin. “I’m speechless,” McIlroy said. “It has been an incredible week. I had a good feeling about it at the start but I never imagined it would turn out like this.”
2014 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP – Rory McIlroy
McIlroy led from start to finish at Hoylake, opening with back-to-back rounds of 66 to open up a four-shot lead at halfway. In anticipation of bad weather on Saturday, a two-tee start was used for the first time in championship history and McIlroy – who was six shots clear – was giving his post-round press conference when torrential rain began falling. A closing 71 gave McIlroy a two-shot win and third major title. “It feels incredible,” McIlroy said. “To win three legs of the Grand Slam at 25 is a pretty big achievement.”
2014 US PGA CHAMPIONSHIP – Rory McIlroy
Rounds of 66 and 67 at Valhalla gave McIlroy a one-shot lead at halfway and a third-round 67 maintained his slender advantage over Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger. Torrential rain in the final round forced a lengthy delay and meant a dramatic finale in near-darkness as Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler stood aside on the 18th to allow McIlroy to tee off and make the par required to win by a shot. “I didn’t think in my wildest dreams I would have a summer like this,” McIlroy said.