Lowry made his professional debut in the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League in an away fixture at Rapid Vienna. On 17 September 2009, Lowry signed a three-month loan deal with Football League Championship side Plymouth Argyle. Lowry made his Plymouth Argyle debut on 19 September 2009, playing 90 minutes, in a 3–1 loss against Newcastle United. He played 13 league games for Plymouth during his loan spell, where he impressed many and was recalled by Villa who required Lowry's services as cover after some injuries to defenders.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship: Held off final-round charges from Thomas Pieters, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, marking his second European Tour title. The victory was the first at the event by an American since Chris DiMarco won the inaugural event in 2006. Final-round highlights included a holed bunker shot on the eighth hole (which helped propel him to a three-stroke cushion at the turn), a chip-in for birdie on the 17th hole and then a par on the last to hold off Pieters by one stroke.
Lowry won for the first time as a professional in 2012, at the Portugal Masters in October. He shot a 67 to tie for the lead with the Englishman Ross Fisher, who made bogey on the final hole after missing a four-foot putt. The victory lifted Lowry back into the Official World Golf Ranking top 100 and made him eligible to compete in the WGC-HSBC Champions.
The Open Championship: Playing in the final group Sunday for the second straight time in a major championship, made a solid bid for the title, at The Open Championship, with a final-round, 5-under 67. Along with Garcia, finished second to Rory McIlroy by two strokes. With his finish at Royal Liverpool GC, became the only player of the season to claim top-five finishes in the year's first three major championships. He also became the first player to claim top-10 finishes in a season's first three majors since Woods achieved the feat in 2005. His T2 at Royal Liverpool supplanted his previous-best Open Championship finish (in four starts) of T5 in 2011. Rounds of 69-69-68-67 made him the only player in the field to post all four rounds in the 60s.
Hero World Challenge: After beginning the final round seven strokes out of the lead, closed with a tournament-record, personal-best 11-under 61 to win the Hero World Challenge by four strokes over Charley Hoffman. With a winning score of 18-under 270, won at the age of 28 years, 11 months and 20 days. His 61 topped the previous Hero World Challenge course record of 62, set by Albany resident Justin Rose during the final round in 2015. Prior to his 61, the previous low final-round score by a Hero World Challenge winner was 64, set on three occasions and most recently by Luke Donald in 2005. Opened his final round with seven birdies before making his first par on the par-4 eighth hole. No player has had as long a streak of birdies in an official PGA TOUR event to open a round since Joe Durant started round four of the 2005 Honda Classic with seven in a row. Added a birdie on the ninth hole to make the turn with an 8-under 28, turning a seven-stroke deficit into a two-stroke lead. His final round included 11 birdies, two more than his benchmark of nine birdies in official PGA TOUR events (final round of the Quicken Loans National in 2017). Finished the week at Albany Golf Club with 30 birdies, three more than his highest total in official PGA TOUR events (27 – 2017 Houston Open). Recorded his sixth top-six finish at the event in his sixth start (1/2017, T3/2016, 3/2015, T6/2014, T4/2012, T6/2011).
With this win, he entered the Official World Golf Ranking as an amateur at No. 168 and reached a career high of sixth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Walker Cup captain Colin Dagleish described the win as "fairytale stuff", adding: "You'd have to say that Shane's victory was the biggest (of the three amateur wins). To win your own national Open is quite something. It was unbelievable, it really was." The win was only the second home victory since 1982 and the first since Pádraig Harrington in 2007. Harrington himself was also full of praise: "It's fabulous for Irish golf. You only have to look at the fact it is such a rarity for an amateur to win, such a rarity for an Irish player to win the Irish Open. So, on a lot of fronts, it is a big deal. It was very impressive."
While serving a suspension, Lowry signed a two-and-a-half-year permanent deal to Millwall for an undisclosed fee on 27 January 2012. Lowry then made his first appearance for the club since joining Millwall permanently, playing 90 minutes, in a 2–1 loss against rivals' West Ham United on 4 February 2012. Right way through March, Lowry was sidelined with ankle injury that kept him out for weeks. After making his first team return against Cardiff City, in a 0–0 draw on 31 March 2012, Lowry scored his first Millwall goal, which he scored the only goal in the game, in a 1–0 win over Coventry City on 17 March 2012. Lowry finished his 2011–12 season, making twenty-two appearance and scoring once.
Lowry received his first call-up to the full Australia squad for a friendly against the Netherlands in Sydney and the Asian Cup qualifier against Oman in Melbourne in October. He did not play in either match. On 11 May 2010 he was selected as part of Pim Verbeek's 30-man provisional squad for the 2010 World Cup, and travelled to South Africa, but was not included in the final 23-man World Cup squad. Lowry was named in Han Berger's 18-man squad for an August 2010 friendly against Slovenia, but he did not appear in the match.
Waste Management Phoenix Open: Claimed his second runner-up finish at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one shot behind Hunter Mahan. Had birdie opportunities on the last three holes but unable to catch Mahan. Previously lost in a playoff to Troy Matteson just down the road at Grayhawk GC in the 2009 Frys.com Open. Had he won at TPC Scottsdale, would have become the first Sponsor Exemption to do so since Jason Gore (2005 84 Lumber Classic). Lee Westwood later won in June as a Sponsor Exemption at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew.
After Lowry's loan spell at Leeds was coming to an end, on 11 May he signed a new two-year contract extension at Aston Villa. It was a remarkable few days for Lowry, he was promoted with Leeds, received a call up to Australia's World Cup Squad and on the same day he signed a new two-year deal with Villa. Despite signing a contract with the club, Leeds United was considering re-signing him for the second time ahead of the 2010–11 season, but never happened.
Lowry made his Leyton Orient debut, playing as a left-back position, in the opening game of the season, which saw Leyton Orient lost 2–1 to Chesterfield. Since his debut, Lowry established himself in the left-back position in the first half of the season despite being sidelined with suspension and fitness concern that saw him out for two matches. Following his return to the first team, Lowry played in the central-defense between December and March until he dropped from the first team throughout March. Lowry went on to make his first team return throughout 2014–15 season, making thirty-four appearance in his first season at Leyton Orient.
Kolon Korea Open: Won his first tournament as a professional, the Kolon Korea Open on the OneAsia Tour, when he rolled to a six-stroke win over Rory McIlroy at Woo Jeong Hills CC in early October. He took control of the tournament in the third round when he shot an 8-under 63. He followed that with a 3-under 68 Sunday. The victory was worth a little under $250,000.
Lowry elected to turn professional the week after his Irish Open triumph, meaning that he would miss out on the opportunity to play in the Walker Cup in September 2009. He made his professional début on 28 May at the European Open, where he shot 78 in the first round to end the opening day almost at the back of the field, and went on to miss the cut following a second round 73.