Shane Lowry. Joe Robbins
PGA Tour

Shane Lowry finishes in tie for fifth at Honda Classic

Chris Kirk edged Eric Cole in a playoff for an emotional victory.

LAST UPDATE | Feb 27th 2023, 7:45 AM

SHANE LOWRY FINISHED in a tie for fifth place on nine under par at the Honda Classic in Florida following a final round of 70.

Chris Kirk birdied the first playoff hole to beat Eric Cole, ending a near eight-year title drought with his fifth US PGA Tour triumph.

It was an emotional win for the 37-year-old American, whose last victory at Colonial in 2015 was followed by time away from the game in 2019 to deal with depression and alcohol misuse.

He took a two-shot lead into the final round and carded a one-under-par 69, shaking off a bogey at the 72nd hole with a birdie when they returned again to 18 for the first hole of the playoff.

There Kirk spun his approach within a foot of the pin while Cole was in a greenside bunker and missed a 10-foot birdie attempt to extend the playoff.

“I just have so much to be thankful for,” Kirk said. “I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful for my sobriety. I’m so grateful for my family. I’m so grateful for everyone that’s supported me throughout the past three or four years especially.”

Cole, who is a US tour rookie this season at the age of 34 — and with 56 professional wins behind him on the Minor League Golf Tour mini-tour — carded a final-round 67 on the par-70 PGA National course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where he joined Kirk in finishing with a 72-hole total of 14-under par 266.

He and Kirk duelled all day and finished two strokes in front of third-placed Tyler Duncan, who carded a 66 for 268.

- Lowry watch -

It was a disappointing final day for Lowry, who had played himself into contention with a blistering 65 on Saturday to build on two opening rounds of 68.  

The Offaly man got off to a slow start on Sunday, dropping a shot on the par four first hole. He recovered with a birdie on the third, but a surge did not materialise as he finished the front nine even par for the round.   

A birdie on the par four 10th hole moved him to one-under for the day, but a dropped shot on the 12th checked Lowry’s momentum again. 

He shot par on each of the next six holes to complete his round on an even par 70.  

Padraig Harrington finished in a tie for 60th place on one over par. The Dubliner shot a final round of 72. 

Lowry wore a green and white ribbon this weekend to commemorate his uncle Jimmy Lowry, a stalwart of Ferbane GAA club, who died on Thursday.

“Yeah, my uncle sadly passed away on Thursday morning,” Lowry said after his impressive third-round of 65 which puts him in a share of fourth place heading into the final day.

“My dad’s brother, unexpected. It’s very sad week for our family. To be honest, I wanted to go home on Thursday when I heard the news. A lot of people talked me out of it.

“I’m here now. I’m trying to play for him and play for his wife and his kids and my cousins and my uncles and my aunts and everyone at home because we’re a very close family and very proud of our name and very proud of where we come from.”  

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