Alan Lowry grinds his way to memorable maiden win in Mullingar

Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) with the 2015 Mullingar Electrical Scratch trophy after his victory at Mullingar Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Alan Lowry does not believe that being Shane Lowry’s brother is a burden, no more then he’s fed up being the son of an Offaly All Ireland title winning legend.

Yesterday, though, it was his turn to enjoy a small taste of the limelight when he produced as gutsy a clutch-putting display down the stretch as you are ever likely to see and defied howling winds gusting up to 35 mph to claim a deserved two-stroke victory in the Mullingar Electrical Scratch Trophy on two under 286.

Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) reacts to his lip out on the final green in the 2015 Mullingar Electrical Scratch Cup. Picture by Pat Cashman

“When I first came out this morning, I thought I needed to post some decent number to be there or thereabouts,” said the Clara man, who started the day five strokes behind halfway leader Joe Lyons on two under par to force Knock’s Colin Fairweather, last week’s South of Ireland runner up, to settle for second place once more.

“But it was so windy I thought under par for the tournament wouldn’t be far away and so I kept grinding, telling myself I wasn’t too far away.

“It was so tough out there that when shots start going, it is so hard to get them back. So I kept plugging along and thankfully I came out a couple of shots ahead.”

Brother Shane putted the lights out as he won with a hugely impressive 17 under par winning total in 2008.

But Alan, who credited his successful Interprovincial debut for Leinster last month with giving him the belief that he could perform under pressure, had to produce hard-nosed, ugly golf to get his first major win on two under par 286.

And he insisted that having the world No 48 as your brother is far more of a help than a hinderance, no matter what people might think.

“I don’t think it’s difficult,” said the 22-year old, who plans to chase further amateur wins as he prepares to begin a two-year Masters in accountancy later this year. “It is great to look up to him. 

“We actually played on Friday and he gave me a little tip about swinging a bit slower and I came up here and I was hitting it a bit easier and obviously I won.

Alan Lowry, flanked by his parents Brendan and Brigid, with the 2015 Mullingar Electrical Scratch Trophy. 

“It’s unbelievable to see him up there and I get confidence from seeing him doing what he is doing. So to get my first win here is fantastic. It still hasn’t sunk in.”

As Lyons slipped to tied fourth on two over after rounds of 76 and 77 and Fairweather followed a morning 74 withy a 75 to finish second on level par, it was nerveless short-range putting over the last seven holes that gave the 22-year old Esker Hills and Maynooth University talent his first major victory.

And while it was impressive, he knows how well his brother plays the game and how far he would have to go to even dream of a move into the professional ranks.

“I don’t see myself turing professional unless something extreme happens for me in the game,” he said with a chuckle. “I need to compete more and it’s just the first win for me. You never know though, the floodgates might open…”

Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) laying up at the 16th in the final round of the 2015 Mullingar Electrical Scratch Cup at Mullingar Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

He shot a fine 70 in the morning to grab a share of the lead with Castle’s Daniel Holland, who would fade to 14th after a closing 82, one ahead of Fairweather (74), Lyons (76) and Flanagan (71) on four under par.

And while it was not until he hit a 165 yard nine iron down breeze to 20 feet at the 18th that he knew for sure that victory was within his grasp, it was his putting from the 12th to the 16th that made the difference.

“I didn’t want to know where I stood,” Lowry confessed after chipping over the trees right of the 18th fairway to set up his third shot to the last. “I had a good crowd from home following me and when I saw a few more there with me, I knew I was doing okay.

Colin Fairweather (Knock) anxiously watches his drive at the ninth in the 2015 Mullingar Electrical Scratch Cup. Picture by Pat Cashman

“After I hit my third to the 18th, I heard someone say, ‘That’s the winning shot there.’ I knew if I could two putt from 20 feet it was probably good enough.”

Much had to happen to get into that position and while that swing-it-easy tip from big brother worked a treat, it was his putting that made the difference.

After following a bogey at the short second with a birdie two at the fifth, Lowry soon realised it was going to be a tough day for everyone.

“I bogeyed 7, 9 and 11 and from there I just kept grinding pars out and from 12 to 16 I holed putts for par from between four and seven feet,” he said. “That was key.”

After holing from six feet to avoid a three putt bogey at the 12th, he made downhill five footer for par to avoid another three putt at the 13th, then drained another six footer down hill for par after “making a mess” of the 14th. 

He was tied for the lead on one under with Fairweather, who was two over for his final round through 12 holes with Co Sligo’s Sean Flanagan just a shot off the pace on one-over with three holes to go.

Flanagan would double bogey the 16th, however, and finish par-birdie for a 76 that eventually left him alone in third on level one-over 287.

Aaron Grant (Dundalk) waiting to drive at the 8th tee in the 2015 Mullingar Electrical Scratch Cup. Picture by Pat Cashman

It was all down to Lowry and Fairweather and it was the Offaly man who prevailed down the stretch, holing four footer for par at the 15th before burying a 15 footer for a crucial birdie at the par-five 16th having being forced to hit a nine-iron from 100 yards into the left to right wind just to give himself the chance.

Still, Fairweather matched him on two under with a birdie at the 14th and the title would be decided over Mullingar’s always interesting closing stretch

Having made the crucial birdie at the 16th to edge in front, Lowry knew the 17th would be key, as it is every year.

“I hit a decent drive,” he said. “It wasn’t my longest drive ever but I made sure I hit it straight. I had a three iron in a hit a great good three-iron to 25 or 30 feet and rolled it up close for a  tap in par.”

Daniel Holland (Castle) driving at the ninth tee in the 2015 Mullingar Electrical Scratch Cup. Picture by Pat Cashman

Despite striking the ball well, Fairweather never found his putting touch inb Lahinch or Mullingar and he struggled coming home.

As Lowry headed up the 17th, Fairweather fell out of the lead with bogeys at the 15th 16th and 17th and came to the last needing an albatross to win.

He could only make birdie, adding a 75 to his 74 to finish second on level par 288, one better than Co Sligo’s promise Flanagan with Dundalk pair Aaron Grant and Caolan Rafferty four shots behind the winner alongside Lyons in a share of fourth.

“To be honest, for the whole round today I kept grinding and holing putts for par, taking it shot by shot, not getting ahead of myself,” Lowry said. “I am so happy to come out on top, it means a lot.”

Michael Duffy (Captain, Mulingar Golf Club) presenting the 2015 Mullingar Electrical Scratch trophy to Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) after his victory at Mullingar Golf Club ( 03/08/2015). Also in the picture are Michael Connaughton (President, GUI), Peadar Conlon (sponsor) and Ann Marie Conlon (sponsor). Picture by Pat Cashman

Mullingar Electrical Scratch Trophy, 2nd & 3rd August, 2015

After 72 Holes


286 Alan Lowry (Esker Hills/Maynooth University) 72 70 70 74

288 Colin Fairweather (Knock) 71 68 74 75

289 Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo) 71 71 71 76

290 Aaron Grant (Dundalk) 70 72 76 72, Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) 70 70 74 76, Joe Lyons (Galway) 67 70 76 77

291 Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 71 77 74 69

292 Ronan Mullarney (Galway) 75 67 76 74, John Hickey (Cork) 73 75 69 75

293 Kevin Stack (Dungarvan) 75 76 73 69, Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr) 75 74 73 71, Stephen Watts (Cairndhu) 73 73 72 75, Conor O'Rourke (Naas) 72 74 75 72

294 Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin) 75 71 74 74, Ryan Symington (Lisburn) 73 75 75 71, Robert Cannon (Balbriggan) 68 76 73 77, Daniel Holland (Castle) 66 73 73 82

295 James Fox (Portmarnock) 70 72 77 76

296 Keith Egan (Carton House) 75 72 74 75

297 Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) 73 74 77 73, Kelan McDonagh (The Royal Dublin) 71 76 75 75

298 Thomas O'Connor (Athlone) 77 72 71 78, Billy McGarry (Birr) 76 71 73 78, Colin Woodroofe (Blainroe) 73 74 74 77

299 Michael Buggy (Castlecomer Golf Club) 74 72 77 76, Daniel Murphy (Portarlington) 72 77 74 76

300 Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 77 73 77 73, Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth) 75 71 81 73

301 Shane Hogan (Nenagh) 74 69 78 80, L. Ashby (Naas) 73 76 78 74, Jake Whelan (Newlands) 70 74 79 78

302 Robbie Pierse (Grange) 76 71 74 81, Jonathan Yates (Naas) 75 75 72 80, Jack Mc Donnell (Forrest Little.) 74 75 77 76, Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle) 72 79 76 75

303 Richard Bridges (Stackstown) 76 74 78 75, Des Morgan (New Forest) 75 72 78 78, Graham Nugent (Kilkenny) 74 73 81 75, Matthew Grehan (Tullamore) 68 82 76 77

305 Declan Reidy (Co. Sligo) 76 71 80 78, Dave Lowry (Corballis Links Golf Club) 72 77 79 77

308 John Swarbrigg (Mullingar) 74 76 77 81, Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 74 76 77 81, Liam Grehan (Mullingar) 73 75 79 81

309 Caolan Kennedy (Forrest Little.) 75 76 79 79, Colin Cunningham (Carton House) 75 75 78 81

313 Stephen Barker (Mourne) 73 76 80 84

314 Ronan Maher (Mullingar) 78 74 80 82

316 Declan O'Neill (Carton House) 74 76 87 79


152 Shane McGlynn (Carton House) 76 76, Jack Walsh (Castle) 73 79, Ryhan Thomas (Utd Arab Emirates) 71 81 

153 Keith Bermingham (Castletroy) 78 75, Adam Doran (Ardee) 76 77, C. Dunphy (Killeen Castle) 76 77, Eoin Arthurs (Forrest Little.) 74 79

154 Paul Burke (Mullingar) 76 78, R. McKinley (Mullingar) 75 79, P. O'Sullivan (Bray) 74 80

155 Mark Morrissey (Mount Wolseley) 79 76, Declan King (Tramore) 78 77, Conor Stone (Carton House) 77 78, Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) 75 80

156 Gareth Carr (Mullingar) 80 76, Chris Blackmore (Dundalk) 77 79, Lee McMillan (Craddockstown) 75 81

157 Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 81 76, Gareth Mann (Tullamore) 75 82

158 K. Metcalfe (Mullingar) 76 82

159 Ben Best (Rathmore) 79 80, Gavin Flanagan (Mullingar) 79 80

160 Cathal Nolan (Galway) 79 81

161 M. Duffy (Naas) 80 81

163 David Maher (Courtown) 88 75, T Flanagan (Co. Sligo) 83 80, J. Dromey (Mullingar) 78 85, Colm Hughes (Galway) 78 85

164 N. Pratt (USA) 84 80

165 Shaun O'Connor (Carton House) 84 81

166 Brian Doran (Palmerstown Stud) 82 84, Gary Shaw (Mullingar) 82 84

168 Ruairi O'Connor (Co. Sligo) 87 81

173 Conor Slevin (New Forest) 86 87 

NR Gerard Lawlor (Craddockstown) NR,

WD Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) 77 WD

CSS: Round 1: 73. Round 2: 73. Round 3: 75. Round 4: 75