Shane Lowry is still refusing to let the Claret Jug out of his grasp, two days after his maiden major triumph at The Open.
The County Offaly man was primed for a hectic Clara homecoming on Tuesday evening and an emotional reunion with 82-year-old grandmother Emmy Scanlon.
Lowry said his stunning victory on Northern Irish soil at Royal Portrush is still far from sinking in, and with madcap celebrations showing no signs of slowing down.
“I haven’t taken it out of my hands,” said Lowry, of the famed Claret Jug.
“It’s amazing. There’s so much history on it, there are names from 1872 on this.
“It’s incredible. The fact that my name’s on there, I can’t believe it.
“I don’t know if I thought I’d ever win a major, but to win The Open at Portrush is a dream come true.
“When the dust settles at the end of the week I’ll start to realise what I’ve achieved.
“I’m obviously enjoying this now but then I’ll begin to enjoy it a bit more because it’s been a crazy couple of days. I’m looking forward to the dust settling and just relaxing.
“The celebrations are still kind of ongoing, so I’m going back home. It will be good fun.
“I had a good party on Sunday night when we got back to Dublin and had a nice day with friends yesterday.”
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 23, 2019
The 32-year-old claims to have been swamped by the outpouring of emotion across the island of Ireland, with a home winner on The Open’s historic return to Portrush for the first time in 68 years.
Lowry expects family support to help him fathom his achievement, although his grandmother is now a star in her own right after revealing she had allowed herself a brandy for the first time in 10 years.
The Portrush grandstands morphed into football terraces on Saturday night, as Lowry stormed into a commanding lead he never released.
The star of the show was somehow able to bask in the glory of the crowds chanting his name, and already appreciates that moment could prove a golfing peak.
“Myself and my wife were talking about it yesterday,” said Lowry. “It is a bit overwhelming but I haven’t really seen it all yet. I’ve barely had time to be on my phone or do anything.
“Come the weekend, when I’m able to sit at home and read about it and see the magnitude of it, I’ll realise what it is.
“Everybody was talking to me about my granny yesterday. She is a great woman, she’s been great to me over the years.
“We grew up down the road from her, so we were able to walk down the road to her house.
“I’m very close to her and I’m very excited to get down there and see her. She’s the one I’m most looking forward to seeing.”
Reflecting on the phenomenal backing of the partisan Irish crowd, Lowry added: “The support in Portrush was just incredible. I couldn’t believe it.
“I knew the crowds would be quite good but it’s hard to put into words what it was like.
“Sunday was great obviously but Saturday evening was something that I never thought I’d witness on a golf course, let alone it be for me.
“So I’ll look back on that now when the dust settles with very fond memories.
“I said to Bo (caddie Brian Martin) walking down 18 on Saturday ‘We might never experience anything like this ever again, so let’s enjoy it as much as we can’.”
Lowry can prolong his celebrations after it was confirmed he would not be competing in this week’s lucrative World Golf Championships event in Memphis.
The PGA Tour wrote on Twitter: “@TheOpen champion Shane Lowry has withdrawn from the @WGCFedEx.”