RANK 70-1 outsider Shane Lowry blew away the field in windswept Portrush to win The Open in front of thousands of adoring Irish fans.
Lowry, 32, from Co Offaly, pocketed a cheque for £1.5million after claiming his first Major in emphatic fashion – but having the Claret Jug on his mantlepiece will mean so much more.
The bearded Irishman showed nerves of steel in battling atrocious weather to finish on 15 under par, some SIX shots clear of England's Tommy Fleetwood.
It is a fairytale victory for Lowry, who has in the past called himself "borderline lazy" and faced teasing over his weight.
He silenced the critics, though, with a masterclass in how to handle a big lead with the world's best snapping at his heels.
And it is sweet redemption for the heartbreak he suffered after blowing a four-shot lead in the 2016 US Open.
Lowry took the same size lead into the final round today and looked tetchy when he made a bogey on the first hole.
But he was rock solid after that and never ended up in any serious danger while his his nearest challengers fell by the wayside.
Those included Lee Westwood – who was using girlfriend Helen Storey as his caddie – who briefly reached ten under par before falling away on the back nine to eventually finish in a share of fourth alongside world No 1 Brook Koepka.
An emotional Lowry said: "My mum and dad sacrificed so much for me when I was younger and I'm so happy I can hand them this trophy tonight.
"My wife and my little girl Iris, to have them here today is extra special.
"All the fans, thank you so much, this one's for you.
"I feel like I'm in an out-of-body experience. I was so calm coming down the last hole. What a day.
"I told my caddie I couldn't stop thinking about holding the Claret Jug all day.
"I can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning and realise what I've done."
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