Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy carded a closing round of 66 to win the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth by a single shot from Shane Lowry of Ireland.

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Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy carded a closing round of 66 to win the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth by a single shot from Shane Lowry of Ireland.

McIlroy began the final round seven shots behind Thomas Bjorn who took a five shot lead over Luke Donald into Sunday. But when the Dane stumbled to a triple bogey at the sixth, the chasing pack was given an opportunity.

Shane Lowry was first to strike. He began his back nine with three straight birdies, but his run was halted with a double bogey at the par-4 13th.

Like his playing partner, Luke Donald also suffered a triple bogey at the sixth hole and, although he fought back with five birdies over his next 10 holes, it wasn’t enough to catch McIlroy.

The Northern Irishman birdied the 10th, 12th, 13th, 17th and 18th holes to post a clubhouse total of 14-under-par. Donald, Bjorn and Lowry all needed an eagle three at the final hole to match that total and, when none were able to do it, McIlroy was champion.

It was an amazing performance from the 24-year-old on a course he has never performed well on before, he’d missed the cut in two previous starts.

“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,” he said. “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.”

It was a rollercoaster week for McIlroy. Before the event it was announced that he and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki had broken off their engagement, and McIlroy appeared close to tears when answering questions in the pre-tournament press conference.

“I’m happy for Rory,” said Luke Donald. “We all know what he’s been going through and sometimes making those tough decisions maybe takes a weight off your mind and he can engulf himself in golf.”

McIlroy will go into the year’s second Major (the U.S. Open on June 12) with renewed confidence.

“I really wanted to win before going into the U.S. Open,” he said. “I could not have asked for a better way to prepare.”

BMW PGA Championship
Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, England
May 22-25, purse €4,750,000, par 72

1    Rory McIlroy (NIR)    68    71    69    66    274    €791,660
2    Shane Lowry (Irl)        64    70    73    68    275    €527,770
T3    Thomas Bjorn (Eng)    62    72    67    75    276    €267,425
T3    Luke Donald (Eng)    71    67    68    70    276    €267,425
T5    Simon Dyson (Eng)    69    74    69    67    279    €183,825
T5    Stephen Gallacher (Sco) 70    75    68    66    279    €183,825
T7    Thomas Aiken (RSA)    68    72    70    70    280    €110,010
T7    Pablo Larrazabal (Esp)    69    71    69    71    280    €110,010
T7    Francesco Molinari (Ita) 71    74    65    70    280    €110,010
T7    Marcel Siem (Ger)    69    71    72    68    280    €110,010
T7    Henrik Stenson (Swe)    68    71    71    70    280    €110,010

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Rory McIlroy: what’s in the bag?

Driver: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour 8.5-degree (Kura Kage X TS 70)
Fairways: Nike VRS Covert 3-wood 15-degree, Covert 5-wood 19 degree
Irons: Nike VR Pro Blade (4-9)
Wedges: Nike VR Forged 46-degree, 52-degree, 56 degree; VR X3X Toe Sweep 59-degree
Putter: Nike Method 006
Ball: Nike RZN Black
Footwear: Nike Lunar Control II