'Who ever thought there would be an Open champion going home to Clara?'

Shane Lowry is still in dreamland after lifting the Claret Jug on Sunday.

FREQUENTERS OF LEESON Street’s House must have got quite a shock as they arrived for their Tuesday afternoon lunch earlier, as Shane Lowry’s victory tour made its penultimate stop before heading for home.

With Lowry’s Open celebrations bringing him to many of the capital’s well-known establishments in the last 48 hours, this visit was strictly business as the champion golfer and the Claret Jug were greeted by dozens of media and camera crews.

Shane Lowry Shane Lowry in Dublin this afternoon. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

If there was any doubt as to just how popular a winner Lowry is, you only needed to witness the organised chaos unfold as the 32-year-old made his entrance flanked by his entourage, before he jumped from interview to interview, never failing to let the prized silverware leave his sight. 

Lowry’s every move and word was captured by swarms of photographers and TV cameras, all desperate to get that front-page shot of the man of the moment, before he makes his way to Clara for this evening’s homecoming.

“It’s a bit surreal, the last 48 hours have been a bit surreal,” he says. “I think when it all settles down at the end of the week and I get to watch the golf back and look at what’s happened, it will start to sink in properly then.

It’s amazing, I can’t believe how lucky I am that it has happened to me. That’s kind of the way I feel.

Lowry has barely had time to catch his breath since holing his final putt on Royal Portrush’s 18th green on Sunday afternoon, as he is pulled this way and that, and the world number 17 is understandably struggling to come to terms with the enormity of his first Major winner. 

“I haven’t had time [to process it],” Lowry continued. “I literally haven’t stopped going since I got off the 18th green on Sunday. When it comes to the end of the week, that’s when I’ll start to actually process what’s happened and start to look forward to what I’m going to play in towards the end of the year and set out some goals for the next year.

Right now, I’m just trying to enjoy the moment. For this to be happening to me, I feel quite lucky.

After deciding to skip this week’s St Jude Invitational on the PGA Tour, Lowry is now looking forward to getting home, where Clara GAA club are staging tonight’s homecoming.

He was able to share the winning moment with his wife, Wendy, and daughter, Iris, on Sunday, while his parents, siblings and management team were all greenside on the Dunluce Links — but he is set for an emotional reunion with grandmother Emily Scanlon later.

Shane Lowry The Open champion with the famous Claret Jug. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“She’s a great woman,” he smiles. “I’m looking forward to seeing her. I’ve seen my parents and my immediate family so I’m looking forward to bringing that into her and throwing it down on the kitchen table.

“I’ll just go into the house and to be able to sit there and chat to her and show her the trophy is just going to be incredible.

“Where I’m from, there are obviously a couple of golf courses around, but who ever thought there would be an Open champion going home to Clara? It’s incredible when you even think about it and to see all my friends and what it means to them.

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“Where we’re from GAA is huge and I’ve been lucky enough to watch Offaly win an All-Ireland but to hear people tell me that this is even more special to them is just incredible.”

And that Claret Jug will not leave his grasp anytime soon.

“I can’t stop looking at it, it’s hard to believe,” Lowry adds. “There are names from the 1800s on that, it’s just such an iconic piece…it’s unbelievable that it’s in my house and my name is on it and my name is going to be there forever.

“That can never be taken away from me.”

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Ryan Bailey

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