Monday, May 26

McIlroy First Irishman to Win British PGA Since 1958

By Brian Keogh

Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.

Rory McIlroy
RORY MCILROY APPEARED TO TRY to keep the celebrations to a minimum as he mourned the end of his relationship with Caroline Wozniacki. But he could hardly play it down for long after a stunning closing 66 saw him come from seven shots behind Thomas Bjorn and claim the BMW PGA by a stroke from a brilliant Shane Lowry.

It was a memorable day for Ireland as the 25-year old Ulsterman became the first Irish golfer to win the British PGA since Harry Bradshaw won at Llandudno in 1958.

"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," McIlroy 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.

"My caddie JP (Fitzgerald) set me the target of 15 under today. I didn't quite get there but 14 under was enough. I really wanted to win before going into the second major of the season and I could not have asked for a better way to prepare."

Bjorn came unstuck with a triple bogey seven at the sixth and limped to a 75 to finish tied third with Luke Donald (70) on 12 under as McIlroy set the target at 14 under with a birdie-birdie finish.

Lowry had led by three strokes after starting he back nine with three straight birdies. But he double bogeyed the 13th and followed a two at the 14th with a bogey at the 15th to get to 12 under again. It proved to be a bridge too far for the Offaly man as McIlroy covered the back nine in a wonder, five under 32 to reach 14 under.

Lowry needed an eagle at the last to force a playoff but ended up needing a 60 footer for birdie just to take solo second with a closing 68. Incredibly, he made the putt worth an extra €173,564, taking home €527,770 to move from 165th to 15th in Race to Dubai.

After claiming € 791,660 McIlroy is now second to Bjorn in the money list with €1,295,825 from six starts.

Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

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