Shane Lowry pocketed a top-10 finish in the Players at TPC Sawgrass in his pocket and then headed up to Augusta National for a couple of days of preparation ahead of next month’s US Masters tournament, as the 33-year-old Offalyman intends to kick on from a decent return at the PGA Tour’s flagship tournament.

Justin Thomas, a month on from the death of his grandfather who has proved to be an inspiration, added the Players to his impressive career CV, following up his third round 64 with a closing 68 for a total of 14-under-par 274 that gave him a one stroke winning margin over Lee Westwood with Brian Harman and Bryson DeChambeau in tied-third.

It gave Thomas a 14th PGA Tour win and a $2.7 million payday, an emotional one for the world number three so close to the death of his grandfather. “I’m so happy to be a Players champion, I fought so hard today. I stayed patient, stayed patient,” said Thomas, who really took a grip on the tournament with a run of birdie-eagle-birdie from the 10th to the 12th hole to move into the lead.

Thomas had a scare off the 18th tee where his drive skirted with the water hazard down the left but he managed to find the fairway and finished off with a closing par that enabled him to add the Players to his 2017 US PGA title and his two WGCs, the 2018 Bridgestone and the 2020 FedEx St Jude.

Lowry, who collected a payday of some $470,000 for his work, finished with a 68 for a nine-under-par 279 that gave him a solo eighth place finish.

“I gave myself so many chances. I felt like I played good golf. To be honest, I’m pretty happy with the week in general because it’s not been the best run of form for me over the last while. Hopefully this is a bit of a momentum swinger and shift of momentum in the right direction going forward over the next few weeks,” said Lowry, who will continue his schedule at this week’s Honda Classic with upcoming assignments at the WGC Matchplay and the Masters.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry during the final round of The Players Championship on Sunday. Photograph: Getty Images
Ireland’s Shane Lowry during the final round of The Players Championship on Sunday. Photograph: Getty Images

Lowry’s final round – five birdies (on the first, fifth, ninth, 10th and 18th) and a lone bogey on the 17th – enabled him to make a strong finish to move into the top-10 and set off for a quick two-day visit to Augusta with Westwood ahead of next month’s Major at the iconic Georgia venue:

“A couple of members kindly invited us. I’m treating them as maybe a little practice round for the Masters, which is not far away. Then I go to Palm Beach, pro-am on Wednesday and play the Honda. I like the course at the Honda, it is like a home game for me. I live five minutes away from the course, so play there and then the Matchplay and then I’ll have a much-needed week off before the Masters,” said Lowry, who also garnered some much needed Ryder Cup points on the back of his finish.

Lowry and coach Neil Manchip will play a couple of rounds with Westwood at Augusta National: “I feel better going (to Augusta) playing in for a few quid than I would do at this time last week. There’s a lot of time between now and Augusta. My focus obviously (is the Masters) look, it’s somewhat of a practice run at it the next couple of days, but it’s also a nice little boys’ trip for myself and my coach. He has never played there so it’s a treat for him, and we’re just going to go up there and enjoy ourselves and then back down and get back to business (for the Honda) on Wednesday.”

Lowry added: “I’ve a a lot of positives to take from the week. Obviously the result is one thing, but my putting is another thing, and then I didn’t even have my ‘A’ game I felt. I didn’t even play my best this week. I felt like I ground it out well out there.”

Final leaderboard

-14 Justin Thomas (USA) 71 71 64 68

-13 Lee Westwood (England) 69 66 68 72

-12 Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 69 69 67 71 Brian Harman (USA) 67 71 69 69

-11 Paul Casey (England) 73 67 67 70 Talor Gooch (USA) 71 68 71 67

-10 Corey Conners (Canada) 68 72 72 66

-9 Shane Lowry (Ireland) 68 74 69 68

-8 Daniel Berger (USA) 74 68 71 67 Matthew Fitzpatrick (England) 68 68 72 72 Sergio Garcia (Spain) 65 72 71 72 Charles Howell III (USA) 73 70 71 66 Si Woo Kim (Korea Republic) 72 70 67 71 Jason Kokrak (USA) 70 72 71 67 Victor Perez (France) 73 71 69 67 Jon Rahm (Spain) 72 68 67 73

-7 Charley Hoffman (USA) 70 68 76 67 Sungjae Im (Korea Republic) 72 66 77 66 Ryan Palmer (USA) 70 72 68 71 Cameron Smith (Australia) 71 73 65 72

-6 Will Zalatoris (USA) 70 71 70 71

-5 Abraham Ancer (Mexico) 72 70 68 73 Dylan Frittelli (South Africa) 71 68 76 68 Tom Hoge (USA) 69 71 71 72 Adam Long (USA) 70 74 67 72 Tyler Mccumber (USA) 72 69 72 70 JT Poston (USA) 76 68 69 70 Patrick Reed (USA) 70 72 70 71

-4 Keegan Bradley (USA) 70 72 73 69 Doug Ghim (USA) 71 67 68 78 Adam Hadwin (Canada) 74 69 71 70 Harry Higgs (USA) 71 73 67 73 Joaquin Niemann (Chile) 73 71 70 70 Cameron Percy (Australia) 73 70 73 68

-3 Jason Day (Australia) 70 71 71 73 Lanto Griffin (USA) 73 71 68 73 Patton Kizzire (USA) 70 69 72 74 Phil Mickelson (USA) 71 72 71 71 Ryan Moore (USA) 75 69 71 70 Brendon Todd (USA) 74 69 71 71

-2 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa) 70 72 71 73 James Hahn (USA) 76 67 74 69 Zach Harris Johnson (USA) 75 68 72 71 Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Korea Republic) 72 71 71 72 Collin Morikawa (USA) 71 73 76 66 Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 73 69 74 70 Brendan Steele (USA) 72 72 71 71

-1 Lucas Glover (USA) 75 69 72 71 Dustin Johnson (USA) 73 70 73 71 Chris Kirk (USA) 72 65 71 79 Adam Scott (Australia) 72 71 73 71 Jordan Spieth (USA) 70 74 68 75 Nick Taylor (Canada) 70 74 72 71 Michael Thompson (USA) 71 73 72 71

Par Ryan Armour (USA) 74 68 71 75 Matt Jones (Australia) 73 71 70 74 Denny McCarthy (USA) 69 69 75 75

+1 Kramer Hickok (USA) 74 68 72 75 Billy Horschel (USA) 71 73 71 74 Brian Stuard (USA) 74 68 72 75

+2 Scott Brown (USA) 71 70 72 77 Scott Harrington (USA) 72 71 77 70 Harold Varner III (USA) 70 73 71 76 Jhonattan Vegas (Venezuela) 73 71 72 74

+3 Patrick Rodgers (USA) 74 70 73 74 Aaron Wise (USA) 73 71 72 75

+4 Russell Knox (Scotland) 71 73 72 76 Rory Sabbatini (South Africa) 69 75 74 74

+5 Martin Laird (Scotland) 73 71 76 73 Scott Piercy (USA) 73 70 71 79 6 Nate Lashley (USA) 74 69 75 76



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