Ireland’s Shane Lowry admits he has been dreaming of lifting the Claret Jug after moving into a four-shot lead at The Open Championship on Saturday. The 32-year-old has never won a major, but now has a superb chance of victory after moving onto 16-under par.
With the pressure on, Lowry lapped up the applause and fired home a course record eight-under 63 at Royal Portrush. His closest challenger is England’s Tommy Fleetwood on 12-under-par, while American JB Holmes is two shots further back in third.
Sunday’s weather is set to cause problems for the majority of the field due to high winds, but Lowry appears unfazed and is already dreaming about lifting the famous trophy. “It’s only natural, isn’t it?” Lowry told BBC Sport. “We’re human. We’re not robots. We can’t not think about things.
“And when you try not to think about something you end up thinking about it more – so you might as well talk about it. “I’m not going to be sitting there on Sunday morning in the house trying not to think about the day ahead. I’ll be talking about it.”
Sceptics are expecting Lowry to struggle, just like he did at the US Open at Oakmont at 2016. He lost a four-shot lead on that occasion to allow Dustin Johnson in for the victory but the Irishman says he has learned his lessons.
He added: “I learned a few things that day about playing the final day in a major with a lead. I’m a different person now. That’s what will help me. “I’ve got certain things in my life that make it different. I’ve got a family now. No matter what I shoot on Sunday, my family will be waiting for me.”
Lowry is 1.53 to win the Claret Jug, while Fleetwood is 4.50 to also win his first major.