‘Offaly Rover’ Shane Lowry’s victory celebrated at Esker Hills

Club captain says such days ‘haven’t been seen in Offaly’ since All Ireland wins in 1998 and 1982

Renditions of The Offaly Rover rang out over Esker Hills on Sunday night as golfer Shane Lowry's win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was celebrated at his home club.

Lowry’s family are long time members of Esker Hills, and a gathering to celebrate his brother Alan’s success at last week’s Mullingar Scratch Trophy was underway on Sunday ahead of Shane’s final round in Ohio.

As word spread of the Clara native’s strong showing, many more locals flocked to the club to see the action unfold.

"As the night went on the crowd just got bigger and bigger," Esker Hills club captain John Boland said. "People were coming from all over and the excitement was hitting fever pitch."


The night culminated in an uproarious cheer when, after a miraculous recovery shot on the 18th, Shane rolled in a birdie putt to secure a two shot victory, a $1.57 million cheque, a place in the world’s top 20, a slot at next year’s US Masters and a three-year exemption on to the PGA tour.

“It was just unbelievable,” Mr Boland said. “You just couldn’t describe it.”

Thankfully, the reaction was caught on video, with the footage going viral, though that was far from the end of the night.

"Everyone just stayed and sang the night away. There were many, many renditions of The Offaly Rover."

Mr Boland said the golfer’s victory was a significant source of pride across the county and that “these days haven’t been seen in Offaly since the All Ireland wins in 1998 and 1982”.

That 1982 victory against Kerry, denying the overwhelming favourites a fifth All-Ireland football title in a row, had one particularly notable player in the Offaly side - Shane’s father Brendan.

Shane started his golfing career at Esker Hills, beginning in pitch and putt, and is still involved at the club.

Described by Boland as a “gentleman who has time for everyone”, Shane has stayed involved in the club’s junior competitions as a sponsor, supporter and regular attendee.

The victory saw Lowry jump in the world rankings, from 48th to 19th, making him the 5th highest ranked European in the world.

As Mr Boland put it: “If the Ryder cup was to be played next week, he’d be on the team. That’s the jump.”

Esker Hills are hoping to have a homecoming celebration for Shane in the coming weeks, though they’ll have to work around next weekend’s US PGA Championship.

Praise for the win also came from Government figures, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny paying tribute to Shane’s prowess on the golf course.

“Shane had a brilliant victory after a marvellous performance over the four days of this key golf tournament,” Mr Kenny said. “Shane is an enormously talented golfer and his win will generate a whole new loyal following for golf”

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring celebrated Shane's role in Ireland's current "golden age of golf", and wished him luck in the final major of the year next weekend at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.