Offaly’s Shane Lowry has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour in recognition of his Open Championship victory at Royal Portrush in July.
The Clara native finished six shots clear of England’s Tommy Fleetwood at the famous Co. Antrim links course to lift the Claret Jug in front of packed galleries as the island of Ireland hosted the Open Championship for the first time since 1951.
It was Lowry’s maiden Major Championship triumph and came ten years after his unforgettable breakthrough victory as an amateur at the 2009 Irish Open at County Louth Golf Club in Baltray.
The 32-year-old currently leads the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, having also won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the first Rolex Series event of 2019.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, who made the presentation to the Irish golfer, said:
“Shane’s incredible victory at Royal Portrush will be remembered as one of the iconic performances in the Championship’s storied history. Shane is a terrific character and I think you when you look at the remarkable reception he enjoyed across the island of Ireland in the week following his win, in addition to the warmth and praise on social media globally, that shows you how popular he is in the game. He is also a wonderful ambassador for the European Tour, and is therefore a truly worthy recipient of this honour.”
Lowry, who has won five times on the European Tour, and becomes the 56th person to be awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour, said of the accolade:
“I’ve obviously joined a nice list of names, which is pretty good as well. My heart lies with The European Tour. I’ll always be a member. I love coming back and I love playing in events like this. So it’s an extreme privilege to receive this.”
Previous Irish recipients of Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour are Christy O’Connor (2004), Pádraig Harrington (2007), Graeme McDowell (2010), Darren Clarke (2011) and Rory McIlroy (2011).