Saints, smiles and adorable scenes as Shane Lowry wins his first major tournament
Who thought golf would give us all the feels?
It was a final day of drama that sucked in even the most casual of sports fans and left the goings on on Love Island in the shade.
Sunday saw golfer Shane Lowry have the round of his life to claim The Open title at Royal Portrush. The sell-out crowd at the Co. Antrim course were ecstatic as the 32-year-old Offaly man finished with a six shot lead to win his first major tournament.
Whether you're into golf or not, it was impossible not to be moved by the heart-meltingly cute pictures of a beaming Lowry hugging his wife, Wendy, and two-year-old daughter, Iris, on the 18th.
And there can't have been a dry eye left in the country as Shane Lowry choked up as he thanked his parents, Bridget and Brendan, saying: "They sacrificed so much for me when I was younger and I'm so happy that I can hand them this trophy."
Mum Bridget had been clutching a statue of St Anthony as she watched over her son's final round. Best known as the saint who recovers lost things, St Anthony is also revered for keeping people safe on journeys.
And what a journey it's been for Shane Lowry, who began playing golf at age 12. As well as the coveted Claret Jug, he also takes home an eye-watering prize packet of €1.7million.
Overnight, tributes have poured in for the achievement of the likeable golfer, led by President Higgins who said:
"May I congratulate Shane Lowry on his outstanding success in the Open Championship at Royal Portrush today. This victory was not only a great personal achievement but an historic win.
"His triumph today, on a magnificent course and buoyed by a vociferous crowd, means he has joined Fred Daly, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy as the fifth Irish winner of the Open.
"His success today will have brought pride and joy not only to sports fans around Ireland but to the Irish everywhere, and as President of Ireland I want to congratulate Shane on his achievement and on being such a positive role model both on the course and off."
Preparations are now underway for a homecoming celebration at the club where Shane Lowry first took up golf, Esker Hills in Tullamore.