Shane Lowry has won the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month award for August in recognition of his stunning victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
The 28 year old cruised to his first World Golf Championship win with a flawless four under par 66 on the final day at Firestone Country Club in Ohio, impressively holding off a trio of Major Champions in the form of Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and Jim Furyk.
Only two Europeans had previously claimed the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational title since it became part of the European Tour International Schedule in 1999 – Darren Clarke in 2003 and Rory McIlroy in 2014 – and the victory came eight weeks after he was tied ninth at the US Open at Chambers Bay, which equalled his best finish in a Major.
“I’m delighted to win this award - it really caps an incredible summer for me,” said Lowry, who receives Hilton HHonors Diamond Elite Status, the highest tier of Hilton’s renowned loyalty scheme, for his achievement.
“Winning at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was a dream come true – to go toe to toe with the best players in the world and hold off a group of Major Champions coming down the stretch was extremely satisfying.
"I'm really happy with how my game held up under the utmost pressure and it has really reinforced my belief that I belong at the very highest level of the game.
"It's been nice to take a few weeks off and get to celebrate such a big win with my team, friends and family. The break has also allowed me to regroup and prepare for what is going to be a pretty busy tournament schedule for the remainder of the year. I’m now feeling refreshed and motivated to have a really strong finish to the season and try to mount a challenge for the Race to Dubai Number One spot.
“Thank you to all the members of the media who voted for me for this award, it means a lot to me to win it.”
The shortlist for the August award was strong, with England’s David Horsey, who won the Made in Denmark, and Belgian Thomas Pieters, who clinched his maiden European Tour title at the D+D REAL Czech Masters, also in the running.
Finn Roope Kakko, who claimed the Madeira Islands Open – BPI – Portugal, was also considered, as was Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who saw off tough competition to win the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play at Murcar Golf Links.
However, the panel – which met during the KLM Open and comprised golf experts from television and print media – voted unanimously in favour of Lowry, with Pieters second and Horsey third.
Former player Robert-Jan Derksen, now a commentator for Dutch broadcaster Sport 1 having retired from European Tour action at the end of last season, said: “It was a huge win for Shane. I commentated on it and the way he won was so impressive. I love the way he plays, always going for everything, and he has a great short game, too.
“Not only is he a brilliant player, he is a real gentleman as well. I played with him in the last round of the KLM Open last year, which was my last home tournament, and on the final hole he let me tee off last and then waited back while I walked up the fairway on my own to soak up the applause from the crowd. It was a lovely touch and one I won’t forget.
“Thomas Pieters’ win was also great for him, particularly as his family were all there, having driven 850 kilometres through the night to get there, but Shane deserves to receive this award.”
Like the last two months, fans of ‘My European Tour’ were also involved in the award, with the new format allowing them to vote at www.europeantour.com and try to match the expert panel’s 1-2-3 for August.
This month’s winner, along with each of the other monthly winners from March to September, will earn a two-night stay at any Hilton Portfolio hotel worldwide, while all seven winners will be entered into a prize draw to win an incredible three-night stay in Dubai for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
Lowry joins Danny Willett (December), Gary Stal (January), Anirban Lahiri (February), Richie Ramsay (March), Wu Ashun (April), Byeong-Hun An (May), Alex Noren (June) and Danny Willett (July) as contenders for The 2015 European Tour Golfer of the Year, which will be decided by a selection panel at the culmination of the Dubai event.