Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy has elected to play for Ireland at the 2016 Olympics
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

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

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?