ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – Ireland’s Shane Lowry produced a masterful third round to win the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday, his first title since winning the 2019 Open.
Lowry found a birdie on the par-five 18th at Wentworth for a blemish-free 65 to reach 18 under for his three rounds, one ahead of Spaniard Jon Rahm who had earlier set the course alight with a dazzling 62.
Lowry then had to wait to see whether Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy could make an eagle on the 18th to match him.
Recently-crowned FedEx Cup champion McIlroy received huge support from the packed galleries at the DP World Tour’s flagship tournament and when he reached the green in two a playoff looked possible. But his 25-foot putt stayed tantalisingly above ground after wobbling next to the hole.
Lowry took the USD1.36 million winners’ cheque with McIlroy sharing second place with Rahm.
“It means a lot, it’s been a good year and I’ve been a close a few times and I really wanted to try and win one,” the 2019 Open champions told Sky Sports.
“Obviously this one is right up there at the top of the list. “I’m so happy, I can’t put into words how much I love this Tour and this tournament. I’m the happiest man in the world right now.”
The event was reduced to three rounds after Friday’s play was cancelled following the death of Queen Elizabeth. It had been rather overshadowed by the presence of 17 players who have joined the breakaway LIV Tour, the divisive Saudi Arabia-backed series that has rocked golf’s status quo to its foundations and generated some harsh words.
Lowry, along with McIlroy, had both voiced their disapproval at the fact that the likes of former Ryder Cup colleagues such as Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood were taking part.
They, along with Rahm, ensured that the scenario of a LIV signee scooping the winners’ cheque did not come to fruition.
American former Masters champion Patrick Reed, one of those suspended from the American PGA Tour after signing up for LIV, did threaten an awkward scenario with a final charge that saw him card a 63 to finish at 14 under. Compatriot Talor Gooch ended as the best performing LIV golf as he finished on 15 under.