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11th Sep 2022

Shane Lowry had a message for LIV Golf after his thrilling BMW PGA Championship victory

Patrick McCarry

Shane Lowry

What a gripping finish.

Shane Lowry has claimed the BMW PGA Championship after pipping Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm to the trophy with a brilliant closing round of 65, at Wentworth.

The early gauntlet was thrown down by two LIV golfers. Lee Westwood went around Wentworth in 65 strokes to go -12 in the clubhouse. That marker was improved upon by Team USA Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed. ‘Captain America’ shot a superb -63 to claim the clubhouse lead on -14.

Matthieu Pavon and Billy Horschel went close – finishing out on -13 – but Reed was still the man to catch, for much of the leading golfer’s front nine.

Two men that made considerable early moves were Jon Rahm and Shane Lowry. The Spaniard went birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie around the turn, and then birdied 16 and 17 after a bogey on 15. Better yet arrived on the 18th as Rahm closed out with an eagle to finish -16.

Lowry started with three straight pars before a stunning approach [clip below] on the fourth hole set him up with a birdie putt he gleefully sank to go -13. Further birdies followed on the 7th and 8th holes, and the Offaly native was right in the mix.

Rory McIlroy joins the eagle party

Starting his final round at -11, Rory McIlroy also started off with a trio of pars.

The Holywood native had carded a second round of 65 to throw his hat in the ring, and he joined the eagle party with a great drive, approach and putt on the fourth.

Rory McIlroy reached -13 with that early eagle, but dropped a shot and reached the turn a few shots off the lead.

A birdie on the 10th kick-started McIlroy’s back nine, and he almost rendered the commentators speechless with this bomb off the 11th tee.

Shane Lowry closes out in style

McIlroy birdied 12 and 15 to get to -15 but Jon Rahm and Shane Lowry were still a step ahead. Lowry gave himself looks with two long birdie putts, on 15 and 16, then erred off the 17th tee to leave himself with work to do. His low tracer second shot was better, though, and it gave him a decent position for an approach into the green.

The Clara man pinged an iron to within 13 feet but drew his birdie putt up along the hole and then tapped in from par. Rory McIlroy was 302 yards away from the green after he strayed right off the 18th tee, and he boldly went 3-wood from the scrub, under the trees. It was a risky shot, but he landed it on the curtain, 20 yards from the green. He chipped beyond the hole then his birdie attempt veered right at the last moment and he was stuck on -15, with a hole to play.

As that was going on, American Talor Gooch – another LIV Golf player – eagled the 18th to finish on -15. It was a further sign that that 18th green was reachable in two.

Lowry gave himself a look at eagle with a nerveless approach on the last, but his putt, from 19 feet away, was just shy and he tapped in for a birdie that put him one clear of Jon Rah, on -17.

The only player that could stop Lowry from winning the trophy was McIlroy, with an eagle.

The 33-year-old landed his approach 20-feet away from the hole and gave himself a look.

McIlroy’s eagle putt almost dropped but was a centimetre shy, and Shane Lowry was the champion.

After coming out, earlier in the week, with some strong comments against LIV Golf defectors teeing it up at Wentworth, the victory was even sweeter for the Clara native.

“I made no secret about how I felt, and my feelings, at the start of the week,” Lowry said. “I wanted to go out and win this tournament for myself, first and foremost, but for this tour and all the guys that have stayed loyal to, and done everything for, this tour. I really feel like this is one for the good guys.”

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