Shane Lowry couldn’t have done much better than he did on Sunday at the Honda Classic. No harsh feelings if he fired 3-under 67 in the final round and still lost to Daniel Berger, who started the day with a comfortable lead.
Berger blew the lead, Lowry led for the most of the back nine, and a bogey-free round wasn’t enough to give him his first Tour victory since the 2019 Open Championship.
“Unfortunately, that’s the game,” he stated following his lonely second-place result. “I felt like I played good enough golf to win the tournament.”
Sepp Straka, on the other hand, was victorious. Straka birdied Nos. 14, 16, and 18 on his way to a 66 and a one-stroke victory against Lowry.
Lowry and Straka were both five strokes behind Berger heading into the final round at PGA National, and it was Lowry who was in the final twosome, giving him a front-row ticket to Berger’s final 74.
The Irishman recorded three birdies in his opening 11 holes to take the lead, which he held until Straka tied him at the 16th with a birdie. When a heavy storm hit, the two were still knotted on the final hole.
Straka was fortunate in that he had already teed off on the par-5 18th before the rain began to fall heavily. With the extra yardage off the tee, he was able to go for broke with his second shot, which landed safely on the green. He then made a birdie putt.
Meanwhile, Lowry was driving to the 18th tee box when the skies opened up. He had to lay up to 122 yards after hitting a squirrely shot to the left. He couldn’t equal Straka’s birdie because he couldn’t get up and down from there.
“To be honest, it’s difficult to take.” I feel like the tournament has been taken from me today. He’s shot 3 under par the previous five times he’s played this course. Lowry stated, “I played flawless golf to win the event, and that’s this game sometimes and that’s this level,” adding that the rain arrived at the worst possible time for him.
“The last hole — that was the worst break I’ve ever had.” You know, especially when you’re standing on the tee and you see him over that left bunker [off the tee], which I could have done if it hadn’t rained, because I only need a drive and a 4- or 5-iron. With a 4, I probably would’ve had a better chance.”
Straka’s tee shot was 334 yards. Lowry made his 241-yard field goal.
Lowry tried to find the benefits despite not adding to his 2019 Open and 2015 WGC Bridgestone victories as he prepares for his next start at The Players and the season’s first major, the Masters Tournament, in April.
When a reporter told Lowry that the breaks sometimes evened out, he replied:
“I’m hoping to be in Augusta in approximately five or six weeks.”