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Lowry holds off McIlroy and Rahm to win BMW PGA Championship

Lowry holds off McIlroy and Rahm to win BMW PGA Championship

Alex Livie

Shane Lowry snapped a three-year run without a win with a brilliant success at the BMW PGA Championship.

Lowry arguably timed his run to perfection, as he hit the lead outright on the 54th hole and Rory McIlroy was unable to final an eagle on the last as he came up one shot shy alongside Jon Rahm.

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Wentworth was at the mercy of the players due to the soft conditions and preferred lies due to the rain before and during the event.

Lowry’s winning score of 17-under was testament to the conditions, but also to the quality of the field as 31 players finished in double-digits under par.

He kicked his round into gear with an eagle on the fourth and further birdies followed on seven and eight.

Final Leaderboard

  • 1. Shane Lowry, 17-under
  • T2. Rory McIlroy, 16-under
  • T2. Jon Rahm, 16-under
  • 4. Talor Gooch, 15-under
  • T5. Patrick Reed, 14-under
  • T5. Thomas Detry, 14-under
  • T5. Viktor Hovland, 14-under
  • T5. Soren Kjeldsen, 14-under
  • T9. Francesco Molinari, 13-under
  • T9. Matthieu Pavon, 13-under
  • T9. Billy Horschel, 13-under

Although the course was receptive, Wentworth was a searching examination and Lowry produced a host of brilliant shots – fades, draws, low runners, exquisite bunker shots and high bombs.

He played them all to perfection and the 18th was sensational. A bomb of a tee shot allowed him the chance to attack the par five in two. His approach settled 20 feet from the cup and he eased it to the holeside for a simple birdie.

The question posed to McIlroy was to find an eagle to force a play-off. He had a chance, but his putt on 18 came up an inch short.

McIlroy made a couple of battling pars to open his round before making his move with an eagle on the fourth. It is a hole that has been a gift for the players all week and the world No. 3 eagled it for the second day in a row.

Unlike Saturday, McIlroy did not have his best game and hit a number of shots on the fat side.

His quality kept him in the hunt and he found the putting surface on 18 in two. He had a chance to force the play-off, but the putt came up an inch short in the jaws of the hole – allowing Lowry to celebrate his first win since the Open Championship in 2019.

“It means a lot,” Lowry told Sky Sports. “It has been a good year. I feel like I’ve been close a few times and only had a few tournaments left this season and I wanted to win one.

“This one was right up there at the top of the list. I love it here, I have contended before. I am so happy. I am the happiest man in the world right now.”

LIV Golf players were briefly in the top two spots on the leaderboard.

Patrick Reed came charging through the pack and his round of 63 took him to 14-under. He was in the same group as fellow LIV player Lee Westwood, and the Englishman signed for a 65 to get to 12-under.

Reed’s 63 kept him at the top of the pile for a considerable time, but he was eclipsed in the scoring stakes and atop the leaderboard by Rahm.

The Spaniard produced his best putting display of the week, capped off by a brilliant eagle on 18, to card a 62 and a score of 16-under.

Rahm came home in 29 strokes, which included a bogey and a pair of eagles, and his 62 is his lowest final round since the 2019 Irish Open.

“All through the week I have been feeling better,” Rahm told Sky Sports. “I made a great birdie on nine and then started hitting the iron shots close enough to make some putts.

“All week long I’ve been putting great, just burning edges. I made the one on nine, the one on 10 and after that it seemed like every one was going in.

Talor Gooch eagled 18 to claim bragging rights among LIV players, as he edged Reed to get to 15-under.

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