Shane Lowry last night admitted how he went from crying tears of despair in his car at Carnoustie a year ago to winning The Open Championship.

Roared on by a sell-out crowd at Royal Portrush, the 32-year-old defied miserable conditions to win by six shots and become the fifth Irish player to lift the Claret Jug after Fred Daly, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

Twelve months ago in The Open, Lowry posted a first round 74 and would eventually miss the cut for the fourth year in a row during a period of struggle.

Lowry, who is coached by Edinburgh-born Neil Manchip, said: “This just shows how fickle golf is. Golf is a weird sport and you never know what's around the corner. You need to fight through the bad times.

“I sat in the car park in Carnoustie on Thursday, almost a year ago right to this week, and I cried. Golf wasn't my friend at the time. It was something that was becoming very stressful and it was weighing on me and I just didn't like doing it. And, look, here we are 12 months on. What a difference a year makes, I suppose.”

Lowry, who has always praised the work of Scotsman Manchip, led by four shots heading into the final round but conceded he wasn’t taking anything for granted.

He added: “I suppose I didn't even know going out this morning if I was good enough to win a major. And look, I'm here now, a major champion. I can't believe I'm saying it.

“I think the people around me really believed that I could. I do remember a lot of times in the past when I was down on myself and had serious chats with Neil. He always said that I was going to win one, at least one.”