Lowry gutted at blowing US Open chance

Lowry gutted at blowing US Open chance
By Reuters

20/06/2016 at 22:18Updated 20/06/2016 at 22:22

Shane Lowry was left to rue the major that got away on Sunday after blowing a four-stroke lead at the U.S. Open, and while the Irishman learned a valuable lesson from a chaotic final round at Oakmont Country Club he doesn't know what it is yet.

"Bitterly disappointed, standing here. It's not easy to get yourself in a position I got myself in today," said Lowry, who closed with a six-over 76 to finish tied for second, three strokes behind winner Dustin Johnson.

"It was there for the taking and I didn't take it."

The burly 29-year-old from Clara in County Offaly had birdied two of his last four holes for a five-under-par 65 when the marathon third round was finally completed earlier in the day to tighten his grip on the championship.

He lost the lead after carding three bogeys on the front nine but was still neck-and-neck with Johnson at four-under until dropping three shots in three holes from the 14th.

Lowry left approach shots short on 14 and 15 and his putter also let him down as he posted three successive bogeys.

"You can only learn from your mistakes," he said. "I always say it's only a mistake if you don't learn from it.

"I'm sure I learned a lot from today and I don't know what it is yet, but when I'm in that position again, and I know I will be, I'll handle it probably a little bit better."

Lowry, looking for his first major title, had shown good touches on the treacherous greens of Oakmont but on Sunday he put himself under pressure.

"I just kept on hitting it 25, 30, 35 feet (from the cup). On these greens, it's tricky. Kept leaving myself a lot of work to do," he said.

"It caught up with me on 14. Really bad streak there, obviously on 15 and 16 as well ... the more I think about it, the more upset I get."

Lowry said he was not thrown off by the confusion over whether Johnson would be docked a stroke after the round for an incident on the fifth green where his ball moved as he prepared to hit his par putt, despite the on-site official no offence.

"We were told walking on 12," he said about the possibility Johnson would be penalized.

"No, it didn't affect the way I played," added Lowry, who had called a one-stroke penalty on himself a day earlier when his ball moved as he addressed it.

"If anything, I credit Dustin for playing the way he played on the way in, having that hanging over him, because I probably would have wanted to know straightaway, if it was me," he said.