U.S. Open: Shane Lowry's 3 biggest career moments - so far

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USA Today Sports Images
By Matt S. Craig

Published: Sunday, June 19, 2016 | 2:02 p.m.

Many golf fans may not know who Shane Lowry is by name, but mention the red-bearded Irishman with a big smile and immediately he comes to mind.

Yet behind Lowry's strong personal branding lies a whole lot of game, which he showed off in the third round at Oakmont. His five-under-par 65 put him at a tournament total of -7, the lowest 54-hole total of any player in U.S. Open history at Oakmont.

Lowry's not nearly as much of an underdog as his playing partner today Andrew Landry. But just in case you aren't familiar with Lowry, here are three big moments from his career:

1. The moment he decided to grow out his beard

Back in 2013, Lowry was walking around clean shaven. Not only is he unrecognizable, but he's lost all of the intimidating factors that come with sporting an awesome beard.

Here he is with Rory McIlroy:



Lowry was born to wear a thick red beard. This moment is undoubtedly the high-point of his career - at least until he wins a major.

2. When he won the Irish Open in 2009 as an amateur

Lowry won the biggest tournament his home country has to offer as a 22-year-old amateur, becoming only the third amateur ever to win the event.

The moment was one of the most emotional finishes the sport has ever seen. Lowry sank a putt on the third playoff hole and the crowd rushed the green to surround him and congratulate him.

A young American amateur golfer winning the U.S. Open in his home state is the closest comparison you could make. It's something that's happened before, but not since 1913.

3. Winning the 2015 WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Six years after his emotional win overseas, Lowry picked up his first PGA Tour win. Again he showed his flair for the dramatic when his recovery shot on the 72nd hole flew through the trees and landed softly 10 feet from the hole, where he nailed the putt.



However, if Lowry were to win the 116th U.S. Open, there's no question it would be the bigest moment of his career. Or maybe second to when he decided to grow out his beard.

Either way, if his history tells us anything, it should be a dramatic finish on Sunday at Oakmont.

Matt S. Craig is a PGA.com intern and a Digital Sports Production student at Ball State University.