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Golf/U.S. Open

Late collapse at Oakmont torments Lowry

Jerry DiPaola
| Sunday, June 19, 2016, 10:24 p.m.

No one could blame Shane Lowry if he returned to his native Ireland on Sunday night, put his golf bag in a corner of his home for a few days and tried to forget about the 2016 U.S. Open.

But a previously scheduled golf event beckons Monday in Dublin, and he will have clubs in hand less than 24 hours after his collapse at Oakmont Country Club.

Lowry took a four-stroke lead into the final round but recorded seven bogeys and finished with a 76 for a four-round total of 279 — 1-under par — to tie Jim Furyk and Scott Piercy for second behind Dustin Johnson, who ended up winning by three strokes.

“Bitterly disappointed, standing here,” he said after he played 54 holes in the last two days of the rain-plagued Open. “It was there for the taking, and I didn't take it.

“I mean, the more I think about it, the more upset I get.”

Lowry, 29, said he wasn't especially tired coming down the back nine, but he did admit to bowing to the pressure applied by Johnson, playing one group ahead of him.

“I just kept hitting, you know, OK shots,” he said. “It wasn't even great shots. It wasn't even bad shots.

“I kept hitting it 25, 30, 35 feet (from the pin). On these greens, it's tricky. I kept leaving myself a lot of work to do.

“You know, I think if I had just relaxed a little bit more, I could have done something better.”

Lowry said he wasn't affected when USGA officials told him on No. 12 they were contemplating penalizing Johnson one stroke after the round for illegal ball movement on the fifth green.

“No, it didn't affect the way I played,” he said. “If anything, I credit Dustin for playing the way he played on the way in, having that hanging over him. I probably would have wanted to know straightaway, if it was me.”

Lowry said he plans to defend his Bridgestone Invitational championship and play in the British Open and the PGA later this summer. He hopes the momentum from his best finish in a major will override the disappointment he takes away from Oakmont.

“I feel like I'm getting into form at the right time,” he said.

Piercy, who was at even par entering Sunday, felt much better than Lowry. After all, he played 23 holes in a row without a bogey over two days. He shot 1-under 69 on Sunday, his third round of the Open at par or better.

“I felt like I played great,” he said while mentioning an ill-timed three-putt for bogey on 16. “Then, on 17, you're trying to catch it up. It's hard to attack the flags, the greens being as fast as they were.

“But I felt like I controlled myself and controlled the ball. So, a lot of positives out of this week.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

Shane Lowry reacts after missing his putt on No. 14 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Shane Lowry reacts after missing his putt on No. 14 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Shane Lowry takes a moment to pray before teeing off on the first hole at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Shane Lowry takes a moment to pray before teeing off on the first hole at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Shane Lowry tees off on No. 4 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Shane Lowry tees off on No. 4 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Shane Lowry reacts to a shot on No. 4 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Shane Lowry reacts to a shot on No. 4 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Shane Lowry reacts after a shot on No. 1 at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Shane Lowry reacts after a shot on No. 1 at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Shane Lowry (left) and Andrew Landry looks down the first fairway before teeing off during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Shane Lowry (left) and Andrew Landry looks down the first fairway before teeing off during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Shane Lowry looks at the green on No. 1 at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Shane Lowry looks at the green on No. 1 at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Shane Lowry reacts after putting on No. 1 at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Shane Lowry reacts after putting on No. 1 at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Shane Lowry hits out of the bunker on No. 9 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Shane Lowry hits out of the bunker on No. 9 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Shane Lowry hits his tee shot on the 18th hole as he finishes his third round at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Shane Lowry hits his tee shot on the 18th hole as he finishes his third round at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Scott Piercy prepares for a shot on No. 17 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Scott Piercy prepares for a shot on No. 17 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Scott Piercy tees off on No. 18 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Scott Piercy tees off on No. 18 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Scott Piercy tees off on No. 16 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Scott Piercy tees off on No. 16 during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Scott Piercy hits out of a bunker near the fourth green during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Scott Piercy hits out of a bunker near the fourth green during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Scott Piercy tees off on No. 18 as he finishes his third round at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Scott Piercy tees off on No. 18 as he finishes his third round at the U.S. Open on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at Oakmont Country Club.
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