McIlroy rallies to win BMW PGA Championship
05/25/2014 1:09 PM
05/25/2014 1:09 PM
Surrey, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Rory McIlroy fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday to come from behind and win the BMW PGA Championship.
McIlroy collected his sixth career title on the European Tour at 14-under-par 274. It was his first victory on tour since the 2012 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
"It's been 18 months since I won on the European Tour and to win the flagship event, I could not have asked for any more," said McIlroy. "I knew coming in here I was playing well. I struggled a little on Friday, but played great over the weekend. I was a little fortunate that some of the guys ahead of me made mistakes and I took advantage of it."
Shane Lowry shot a 4-under 68 during his final round at Wentworth Club to finish alone in second place at 13-under 275.
Third-round leader Thomas Bjorn, who entered the day with a 5-stroke lead, tripped to a 3-over 75 on Sunday to fall into a tie for third with Luke Donald (70) at 12-under.
Stephen Gallacher (66) and Simon Dyson (67) shared fifth at 9-under, while Henrik Stenson (70), Francesco Molinari (70), Marcel Siem (68), Pablo Larrazabal (71) and Thomas Aiken (70) tied for seventh at minus-8.
Bjorn's early advantage was quickly increased when Donald bogeyed the first to fall to 9-under.
McIlroy briefly moved into second at 10-under with an eagle at the fourth, but Lowry followed with the penultimate group and also eagled the fourth to jump into second at minus-11.
Bjorn birdied the fourth to move to 16-under and regain his 5-stroke lead.
After Lowry converted a 10-foot birdie putt at the fifth to reach 12-under, Bjorn's struggles started when he failed to get up and down for par from a greenside bunker at the same hole to drop his advantage to three.
Bjorn then made a mess of the sixth en route to a triple-bogey 7 and erase his once comfortable lead. His troubles at the hole began when his drive found a bunker and he needed two shots to get out. He found the sand again with his fifth shot before blasting out and making his putt, dropping him into a tie with Lowry at minus-12.
As Lowry traded a bogey at the ninth with a 20-foot birdie at the 10th to stay at 12-under, Bjorn tripped to a bogey at the ninth to fall to minus-11 and hand Lowry the outright lead.
Lowry would go on to birdie the 11th and 12th to reach 14-under.
McIlroy, meanwhile, had followed his eagle at the fourth with bogeys at the sixth and ninth around a birdie at the seventh to drop to 9-under.
But the Ulsterman caught fire around the turn with three birdies in a four- hole stretch from the 10th to pull within two of Lowry.
Bjorn birdied the 12th to also reach 12-under before Lowry was forced to take an unplayable lie after an errant drive at the 13th, resulting in a double- bogey to fall into a tie with Bjorn and McIlroy.
Lowry, however, quickly recovered with about a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-3 14th to reclaim the outright lead at 13-under.
But he could not hang on and bogeyed the 15th to fall back into a tie with McIlroy as Bjorn tripped to bogeys at the 14th and 15th to fall off the pace.
McIlroy was next to break from the pack when he converted about a 10-foot birdie at the 17th to reach 13-under. He then blasted out of a greenside bunker to about five feet at the last and converted that birdie to head into the clubhouse at minus-14.
Lowry, Bjorn and Donald all entered the 18th needing an eagle to force a playoff as Bjorn birdied the 16th and 17th to get back to 12-under and Donald had chip-in birdies at the 13th and 15th to also pull within two of the lead, but no one could pull it off to hand McIlroy the title.
"I played really well today. Hung in well, putted well when I needed to with three key up and downs the last three holes and that's what ended up winning it for me," McIlroy said.
Lowry was able to convert an extremely long birdie putt at the 18th to finish alone in second.
NOTES: This was McIlroy's first European Tour win on European soil ... McIroy is the first Irishman to win the tournament since Harry Bradshaw in 1958 ... McIlroy entered the day seven shots behind Bjorn, equaling the largest final- round comeback in the history of the tournament. Simon Khan also come from seven back to win in 2010.