Shane Lowry: Golfer’s granny attributes success to turf mould

British Open champion cancels participation in US tournament to celebrate Major victory

Shane Lowry with his grandmother Emily Scanlon at a Clara GAA fundraising event.

Shane Lowry with his grandmother Emily Scanlon at a Clara GAA fundraising event.

 

Shane Lowry’s grandmother Emily Scanlon has revealed that his golfing success can be attributed to turf mould.

She told RTÉ radio’s News at One that when minding him as a child, if she had to leave the room she would put him in the turf box.

On one occasion when she returned from hanging washing on the line she found that he had eaten all the turf mould. “He’d have all the turf mould ate.”

Lowry was crowned British Open champion after finishing the tournament on -15 at Portrush on Sunday.

In a tribute to Lowry’s victory, family and friends gathered at the rear of the 18th green as the player was acclaimed by the masses in the grandstands, and there were plenty of tears among them to accompany the rain which had been a constant presence throughout the afternoon.

Lowry’s wife Wendy and two-year-old daughter Iris, his parents Bridget and Brendan, and other family members were joined by golfers Pádraig Harrington, who started this golden generation of Irish players winning Majors with his success in the 2007 championship, Graeme McDowell and former player Gary Murphy, who was such a help when Lowry first went out on tour a decade ago.

As well as claiming the Claret Jug, Lowry won €1.7 million in prize money. The Co Offaly golfer said he intended to heartily celebrate his six-shot win and, sure enough, video footage has emerged of him with his friends and family, belting out the Fields of Athenry in a Dublin venue.

His “very proud granny” told RTÉ that her famous grandson had always been “on the go”.

“He has seen so much in life. He had a great upbringing. He was always full of life.”

She also revealed that she had not had a drink of brandy since 2009, “but I had two yesterday.”

“This is great for our little town.”

Mrs Scanlon also recalled the time when the teenage Shane won a competition in Mullingar. On his return she asked him to bring in some turf. His response was that Tiger Woods would not have to bring in turf. “He thought he was Tiger Woods after winning the Mullingar Scratch Cup.”

Apart from the monetary benefits, the win earns Lowry an exemption into future British Opens until his 60th birthday, as well as five-year exemptions into the other three Majors – the US Masters, US Open and US PGA – in a life-changing achievement.

More immediately, Lowry has cancelled plans to play in this week’s WGC-St Jude Invitational in Memphis, US, so that he can stay at home to celebrate the victory.

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