WENTWORTH, United Kingdom (AFP) – Danny Willett beat Spaniard Jon Rahm by three shots last Sunday at the BMW PGA Championship to seal his seventh European Tour title and first win of the year.
The 2016 Masters champion signed for a closing 67 at Wentworth to finish 20-under par for the tournament, ending in style with consecutive birdies.
South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout had to settle for third, a shot behind Rahm on 16-under.
After missing the cut at Wentworth last May, Willett was ranked 462nd in the world as he struggled with a loss of form precipitated by a number of injuries.
However, the 31-year-old has bounced back to form since winning the World Tour Championship in Dubai nearly a year ago and will be just outside the top 30 when the rankings were updated yesterday.
“The one thing for me is that I would have been completely happy with myself today if I had finished first or 10th, and I think that is the big difference,” said Willett.
“I’ve said it before, I feel like I’m pretty good when I’m in contention, when I’ve got a sniff of being pretty efficient in what I’ve been able to achieve.”
Willett and Rahm began the day tied for the lead and the Englishman struck the first blows with birdies on the second and third before Rahm made a gain on the fourth to halve his deficit.
A birdie on the eighth restored Willett’s two-shot lead but he looked set to surrender it after hitting a tree with his recovery shot following a wild drive on the 11th and then gouging his third shot out of the heather into a bunker.
Willett even appeared to have hurt his right wrist in the process but, after finding the green with his fourth, he holed from 40 feet to drop just one shot.