Offaly amateur Shane Lowry finally pushed his footballing dad into second place in the legendary stakes when he captured The 3 Irish Open with a heart-stopping play-off win at Baltray.

Shane Lowry - 2009 Irish Open championThe burly Clara man, 22, became the first amateur in history to win on his European Tour debut when he crushed England's Robert Rock with a winning par five at the third play-off hole.

After sparkling in the rain in front of a massive gallery, Lowry was drenched in champagne by pal Rory McIlroy and confessed: "It's going to take a long time to sink in. I just can't believe it."

Just the sixth Irishman to win the Irish Open, Lowry has lived his entire life in the giant shadow his father Brendan, who became an Offaly immortal when he helped the Faithful County deny Kerry the five-in-a-row in the 1982 All-Ireland football final.

Asked if he had finally matched his dad, Lowry said: "And more. For me, this is much better than an All Ireland medal."

His father, standing at the back of the media centre, shouted out: "For me too!"

What a day it was for Offaly, the small village of Clara and the Lowry clan.

It was an incredible finish to an Irish Open that seemed jinxed from the start with horrendous weather including driving rain and gale force winds forcing two weather delays.

But it ended in fairytale fashion for Lowry, who must now decide if he will turn professional and enjoy a two-year European tour exemption or wait around for September's Walker Cup clash with the US in Pennsylvania.

Refusing to take a decision straight away Lowry hinted that he will take the plunge today before adding that he must first speak to his potential Walker Cup captain Colin Dalgleish

He said: "I'd be mad not to."

Later he said: "I'm going to have to think about that until the morning. I'm sure I'll have a phone call from the captain Colin Dalgleish first thing in the morning and I'd like to speak with some other people and see what they think."

Dalgleish saw another Irishman, Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney, win the Brabazon Trophy in Leeds.

Dalgleish said: "If Shane stays amateur it will be a massive boost to the Walker Cup team to have the reigining Irish Open champion in out side. He's worked hard for his Walker Cup."

Tied with Rock on 16 under starting the day, Lowry carded a final round 71 as they finished level on 17 under par.

He missed a five footer at the 72nd hole to take the title in regulation and held his head in his hands, covering his face with his cap.

McIlroy spoke to him as he headed to sign his card telling him: "You can win this."

And Lowry paid tribute to Rory and his caddie Dave Reynolds - nicknamed Shaper - for keeping him upbeat after that and helping him to a famous victory.

He said: "Rory's been unbelievable and it was great to see him out there supporting me. Dave has been fantastic too. He was so cool and calm and he said all the right things at the right time."