Did Lowry win in a shallow pool?

May 19, 2009

Amateur Shane Lowry's victory in the 3 Irish Open on Sunday was impressive, though impressive comes in degrees, as Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson notes in this interesting take on amateurs beating professionals.

It was a European PGA Tour event and one without a noticeably deep field. He was also the third amateur to win on the European Tour in the last two years, and "raised questions about the strength and depth of fields on the European Tour," Ferguson writes.

An amateur has not won on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson, then 20, won the Northern Telecom Open in 1991.

"On this tour, a lot of it has to do with the depth of the fields," Scott Verplank, who won the Western Open in 1985 while still an amateur, told Ferguson. "Not to take a sideswipe at the European Tour, but I think there's something to that."

-- John Strege