Shane Lowry has seen his Race to Dubai lead cut to just 27 points at the close of the BMW PGA Championship.
Lowry posted a best-of-the-week final round 66 for a then share of ninth place but at the close of the flagship event, the Open Champion officially shared 11th place behind England’s Danny Willett who won a seventh European Tour title by three shots at 20-under par.
Spain’s Jon Rahm, who had been tied with Willett after both the second and third rounds, found the water guarding the green with his second shot down the last but managed to salvage a par to finish runner-up at 17-under.
Lowry went into the BMW PGA leading the ‘Race’ on 3,345 points with Austrian Bernd Weisberger in second place 400 points adrift on 2,945.
Rahm trailed in third place with 2,658 points, 687 behind Lowry but that has now changed with Rahm muscling his way to second.
Lowry leads with 3,465 points (or virtually Euro 3.465m) with Rahm having picked up 180 points to overhaul Weisberger and move to second behind the Irishman.
All is not lost – far from it – as Lowry confirmed before leaving Wentworth for Scotland, this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, that he will contest five of the remaining nine European Tour events this year.
Three of those events are Rolex Series ranging in prizemoney from $7m (Italian Open & Turkish Airlines Open) to $8m (DP World Tour Championship).
“It’s all going to come down to the last few events as prizemoney-wise, they’re so big,” he said.
“It’s going to be all about just worry about myself. I feel like I’m playing good golf all year, so there’s no point stopping now.
“It’s going to be a busy schedule to end my year, including a visit to play in Japan, but there is many of those tournaments like Turkey and the DP World where I’ve done well in the past.
“Though in saying that I am going to the courses for the first time in Japan and Italy, but I feel like my game is in a decent place mentally and my confidence is pretty good.
“So, I feel like I can go out and give The Race to Dubai a good shot towards the end of the year.”
Lowry would already seem destined on the back of his Open Championship triumph to be named 2019 European Tour Golfer of the Year, but to also end a Major winning season as European No. 1; that would be the very bright cherry atop of the celebration cake.
IRISH WORLD RANKINGS –
Rory McIlroy – No. 2 (Unchanged)
Shane Lowry – No. 20 (Up one place)
Graeme McDowell – No. 113 (Down 3 places)
Cormac Sharvin – No. 226 (Up eight places)
Paul Dunne – No. 263 (Down 10 places)
Padraig Harrington – No. 317 (Up 9 places)
Seamus Power – No. 369 (Down 19 places)
Gavin Moynihan – No. 729 (Down 4 places)