Shane Lowry places Rory McIlroy in BMW PGA Championship to end three-year winless drought

The Irishman edged close friend Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm by a single stroke at Wentworth to claim his first title since The Open Championship in July 2019.
His sixth DP World Tour win, the 35-year-old netted a bogey under 17 under in the adjusted 54-hole championship, cut from the conventional 72-hole format after Friday’s second round was canceled following the Queen’s death. Elizabeth II.

After shooting a six-under 66 and 68 in the first two rounds, Lowry came within two shots of the lead on Sunday, but saw his final round roar with an eagle on the fourth hole.

A fourth birdie in the 12th saw Lowry level with 2021 US Open champion Rahm, who had set the clubhouse target at 16 under after carding a joint event-best 62.

With McIlroy hot on his heels, a regular streak of five straight pars left Lowry forced to birdie the last hole to avoid a playoff with Rahm. After birdie in the 18th on the first two rounds, the Irishman scored a hat-trick to come within a stone’s throw of the title.

That left McIlroy demanding an eagle on the par-five final hole to force a playoff, and the Northern Irishman came awfully close to pulling off the feat. The new PGA Tour Championship winner found the green in two strokes, but his 23-foot eagle putt missed inches to confirm Lowry as the champion.

“I’m so happy,” Lowry told reporters. “It’s so hard to win on this tour, any tour. You have some of the best players in the world trying to chase you.

“I felt like my game had been good enough all year to win, and I just felt like I didn’t get the breaks I needed to win tournaments.

“I’m just very grateful and very grateful that I was able to win this, and what a tournament to win as well. It seems like I don’t like to make it small when I do it, so it’s good to have that on my resume too.”

Lowry reacts after finishing on the 18th hole.

Lowry’s Happy New Year

Lowry has recorded four top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season, including a second-place finish at the Honda Classic in February, to earn $3,616,679 in prize money.

His triumph on Sunday nets him €1,351,105.60 ($1,373,533.95), sweetening the joy of ending a frustrating rut.

“I think if I haven’t crossed the line today maybe I’ll come back and start asking questions about what I need to do differently or what needs to change because, yeah, my golf is good, but if you’re not hitting on the wins and playing well, you might have to ask questions,” Lowry said.

“You spend your life and your career getting up early every day, working hard to get into these positions and when you find yourself in these positions, it’s quite uncomfortable.

“It’s not the nicest place in the world because you don’t want to ruin everything and be sitting in your hotel room after ruining the tournament and it’s not a nice place.”

Following Queen Elizabeth’s death on Friday, play resumed after a two-minute silence by players, staff and fans on Saturday morning, with Lowry paying tribute to “an incredible woman”.

“I felt like the right thing to do was to go ahead and just celebrate your life this weekend instead of sitting around and moping around,” he said.

“The whole world is saddened by his loss, but it’s great to see the crowds come out yesterday and today. I felt like it was a great way to kick things off. I know it doesn’t mean maybe not much for anyone, but I thought that was the way it was.”

McIlroy, who propelled Lowry to the title eight years ago, said he was delighted to see Lowry finally reaping the rewards of consistent form.

McIlroy in action during the final round.

“He had a lot of close calls here. He was second to me when I won in 2014 and he got me back today,” the 33-year-old told reporters.

“He’s been knocking on the door for a while. He’s played a lot of good golf this year without really crossing the line.

Rory McIlroy throws a fan's remote-controlled ball into the water at the BMW Championship

“So really, really happy for him. We’ve grown incredibly close over the last two years, and yeah, that’s good to see.”


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