Lowry ‘Over The Moon’ winning Wentworth for himself & his DP World Tour colleagues

Bernie McGuire

Shane Lowry kisses the BMW PGA trophy (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Shane Lowry was over the moon finally winning at Wentworth, going to the top of the 2023 Ryder Cup qualifying process and claiming victory for his DP World Tour colleagues with an emphatic BMW PGA Championship success at Tour HQ.

Lowry came from two shots back at the start of the third and final round, birding the closing hole in a 65 for a 17-under par tally around the famed Burma Road course, in the flagship event reduced to 54-holes following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

In ending a long overdue three-year victory wait since his 2019 Open Championship, Lowry also erased Wentworth memories of eight years ago when denied victory by Rory McIlroy.

This time the BMW PGA victory shoe was on Lowry’s foot with McIlroy leaving his eagle putt right on the edge at the last hole that would have sent the event into a play-off.

Though McIlroy could look back to the 71st hole where tree trouble for a second day running spoiled his chance for birdie and eventually signing for a 67, grabbing a share of second with Jon Rahm, who shot a ‘preferred lie’ 62, and each ended at 16-under.

Fair credit to McIlroy as no sooner had he ended his round and wrapping his arms around Lowry, congratulating his fellow Irishman.

“I’m over the moon as It means a lot, it means a lot to win as it’s been a good year but then I have been close a few times, and I felt I only have a few events left this year and I really wanted to try and win one,” said Lowry.

“This one is right up there at the top of my list. I love it here. I’ve contended in the past, and even going down the back nine today, those bad shots I’ve hit in the past when I have been in contention started to creep into my head. It’s amazing what this game does to your head.

“I am just so happy and honestly, I cannot put into words how happy I am and how much winning this tournament means to me. How much I love this Tour and how much I love this tournament.

“Yep, I am the happiest man in the world right now”.

It also means a little more to Lowry given he made no secret at the start of the event he did not welcome the appearance of so many LIV Golf players in the field, and also agreeing their presence heightened his emotions.

“I think given the circumstances I did feel that way as there were no secrets at the start of the week how I felt”, he said.

“I wanted to go out and win this tournament first and foremost for myself, also for this Tour and everyone who has stayed loyal to this Tour. I really feel like this win is one of the good guys.”

Victory, earning Lowry a long overdue sixth pro career win since his 2019 Open Championship success, also lifts him to ninth on the Race to Dubai and should also see him move to No. 20 in the world.

For Lowry, it also makes amends for losing out to Rory McIlroy eight years ago, while it’s the Clara golfer’s fifth top-six finish at Tour HQ.

As well, Lowry pointed out it comes after a frustrating season in missing out earlier this year on victory at the Honda Classic

Lowry arrived at Tour HQ on Sunday with his traditional all-black attire, albeit for his white shoes, and taking on a more meaningful look than usual with flags all about Wentworth back to half-mast in memory of the late Queen Elizabeth II after being a full mast on Saturday for the official accession ceremony to proclaim King Charles III as successor to his mother.

There was close to a 90-min delay early in the final round due to fog but when play resumed it was the Burma Road big guns making their presence felt, including Jon Rahm 15 groups ahead of Lowry and posting 62 to be well in the clubhouse on 16-under.

Lowry tied the lead with Rahm at 16-under with a greenside bunker shot to just eight inches at the par-5 12th hole, though it was not a case it was all Lowry from there on.

He parred the 14th to 16th holes and there was a very audible cry of ‘Shit’ from Lowry when he tee-shot at the daunting par-5 17th headed right into the trees.

McIlroy arrived at Wentworth wearing a Ryder Cup theme hoodie sporting a picture of the Ryder Cup on the front with the numbers 19 and 27 either side of the trophy, and the year the biennial competition was founded.

The triple FedEx Cup winning champion ignited his goal of winning back-to-back on either side of ‘The Pond’ when he eagled the par-5 fifth hole for a second of three rounds but then like day one, he bogeyed the par-4 eighth hole.

McIlroy birdied the 10th and then for three rounds in succession, he birdied the par-5 12th before that very trademark McIlroy roar of approval into grabbing a birdie at 15 to then be just one off the lead.

However McIlroy, in the group behind Lowry, followed his fellow Irishman into the trees right at 17 a day after sending his drive into the left side treeline and eventually shaving the hole in walking off with a par.

Then there was McIlroy, and those all about the final green, looking on in total disbelief that his eagle putt did not drop, but despite the heartache, McIlroy was full of praise for his good friend and fellow Bears Club estate neighbour.

“That’s one win apiece here”, said McIlroy in embracing Lowry in the scoring area.

“I didn’t have my best stuff and it was sort of a struggle all the way around. Sort of kept myself in it.

“But I’m incredibly happy for Shane. He’s been knocking on the door a lot this year. The two that spring to mind are The Honda Classic and RBC Heritage Hilton Head. He had two great chances there and wasn’t able to get over the line. I know he’s always played well here and this is a tournament he would love to win and obviously he did today.

“Yeah, look, I think he was having a sneakily good year and even though the results mightn’t have suggested it, but playing at home with him, seeing him out playing and getting himself into contention, I think it’s as consistent as Shane has played his entire career which obviously bodes well for him for the future for Ryder Cup next year and beyond.”

American Taylor Gooch, contesting the event for a first time, became the highest placed LIV Golf star, eagling the last in a score of 65 and finishing fourth at 15-under.

While Graeme McDowell, also a LIV player, posted a closing 69 for a share of 50th place at seven-under.

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