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"I have felt the love of the country" - Shane Lowry on his Open triumph

National hero Shane Lowry has reflected on his incredible victory in golf's oldest major, the Open Championship, on the island of Ireland. 

The Offaly native won the claret jug by six shots at Royal Portrush back in July.

Lowry spoke to John Duggan for Newstalk's sporting review of the decade, which will air at 11am on New Year's Eve.

The Clara man talked about the reception he has received since winning the Open in County Antrim: 

"It's the best country in the world isn't it? I have felt the love of the country. I love this country, everybody knows how Irish I am. I really felt like I won the Open for Ireland. Even though as a golfer you don't really represent your country, I feel like I do. I feel like every week I go out I am really playing under the tricolour."

Shane Lowry also spoke about the way he played on the Saturday at Portrush, when he shot an eight under par round of 63 to give him the platform to win: 

"It was the best round of my life. It was one of those days when I was very anxious before I went out. You have a very late tee time. My tee time was 3.40 or something. I just wanted to go out there and put myself in the best position going into Sunday. I had been playing some good golf. I shot four under par the first round. I was six under through ten holes the second round. I made a couple of bogeys late on to let it slip a little bit, but I knew I was playing well. So I went out and I got off to a nice start and then I just kept going. I think the finish on Saturday was the one that won it for me. There were a lot of guys up there that would have had a chance if I didn't birdie three of the last four holes. I wasn't trying to mentally block everything out. I was taking it all in, but I was very focused on what I was doing. I was in the zone. I have never been there before I don't think. I just felt I was going to birdie every hole. I was mentally so switched on that whole week."

You can hear the full, exclusive interview with Shane Lowry and Off the Ball's John Duggan on 'The Final Whistle, a decade in sport' at 11am on Newstalk on New Year's Eve. 

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