Lowry the 'happiest man in the world' after Wentworth win
Shane Lowry produced a brilliant final round to win the prestigious BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday.
The Offaly native held off the challenge of fellow Irishman Rory McIlroy to claim his sixth victory on the DP World Tour (PGA European Tour), and his first since winning the 2019 Open Championship in Portrush.
Lowry’s birdie on the 18th hole completed a superb final round and brought him to 17 under par for the tournament.
McIlroy had the chance to force a play-off when he lined up an eagle putt on the 18th – but his effort agonisingly shaved the hole, effectively making Lowry the champion.
Competing on a course where he posted top 20 finishes in eight of his previous nine visits, Lowry had finished as runner-up when McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship in 2014. But the Clara man went one better on this occasion with a famous victory, courtesy of a remarkably consistent performance over the 54 holes.
Play was suspended at the Surrey venue on Friday due to the death of Queen Elizabeth, but the tournament resumed early on Saturday morning. With the tournament reduced by one round, Lowry was crowned as the winner on Sunday after 54 holes were completed.
Ahead of the tournament in Wentworth, Lowry was critical of the fact that the LIV golf rebels - players who have joined the controversial breakaway tour - were allowed to compete.
"There are certain guys that I can't stand being here, to be honest, and I don't like it that they're here," said Lowry.
"I think the one thing that has really annoyed me over the last few months is how disruptive they're all trying to be," he added.
And afterwards, Lowry again took aim at the controversial LIV Golf Series.
"I made no secret how I feel about the whole thing. I wanted to win for myself first and foremost, but for everyone that has stayed loyal to this tour, I really feel this is one for the good guys,” Lowry said.
"It’s been a good year, but felt like I’ve been close a few times and only a few tournaments left this season and I really wanted to win one and this was top of the list.
“I’m so happy. I can’t put into words how happy I am, how much I love this tour, this tournament. I’m the happiest man in the world right now,” he continued.
Lowry summed things up succinctly on Twitter when he wrote: “This one means a lot”.
McIlroy has been a particularly outspoken critic of the LIV players and he said it was a relief to see his close friend Lowry pick up the trophy.
“I’m okay. I think Shane winning softens the blow. If it had been someone else, I might not have felt as comfortable with it as I am. Seeing a friend win is always great and I am really happy for him,” said McIlroy afterwards.
A stunning round of 62 from Jon Rahm earlier on Sunday saw the Spaniard sit on top of the leaderboard until the final stages. But it was Lowry who triumphed in the end in what was a momentous and sweet victory.