This week the European Tour moved onto Wentworth in Surrey, England, for its flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. Several of Europe’s Ryder Cup hopefuls were in action, and after an extremely dramatic final day, it was a Northern Irishman who pulled off an unlikely victory.
Before play began on Thursday, Rory McIlroy was being written off as a potential winner for a number of reasons. Firstly, he had called off his wedding with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki just two days before the tournament. Secondly, he had never won on European soil despite having won five times on the European Tour.
He entered the final round seven shots behind Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, who started the week with a course-record 62. However, McIlroy birdied his final two holes to shoot a six-under round of 66 to finish 14 under-par, and Bjorn faltered shooting a 75 to finish two shots behind McIlroy alongside Luke Donald tied-for-third on 12 under.
There was a rare Irish 1-2 as Shane Lowry holed a monster birdie putt on the 72nd hole to finish in second place on his own on 13 under-par, his best finish of the season by far, which helped to improve his slim hopes of earning a place in Paul McGinley’s European Ryder Cup team.
Simon Thornton finished in a tie for 46th on one over-par, Padraig Harrington tied for 61st on four over-par and Damien McGrane finished tied for 63rd on five over. Michael Hoey, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Peter Lawrie, Gareth Maybin and Damien Mooney all missed the cut.
The PGA Tour moved to Fort Worth, Texas for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club. A high quality field was assembled for the tournament and the newly crowned world-number one showed why he is the best in the world by winning in a dramatic play-off.
Adam Scott entered the weekend six shots off the lead but played the final 36 holes in eight under to finish on nine under-par, a score matched only by the 2013 USPGA Champion Jason Dufner.
Both players parred the first playoff hole. Then they had matching birdies on the second playoff hole. Scott birdied the third playoff hole, the 18th, to earn the victory. With the win, Scott became the first man to claim the ‘Texas Slam’ by winning all four PGA Tour events held in Texas.
His place as the world’s top player was in danger after Henrik Stenson finished tied for seventh at the BMW PGA Championship, but he comfortably held on to the number one spot as a result of his victory.
The European Tour now moves to Sweden for the Nordea Masters at PGA Sweden National, where Finland’s Mikko Ilonen is the defending champion.
The PGA Tour moves to Muirfield Village in Ohio for the Memorial Tournament, a competition run by golfing great Jack Nicklaus. Matt Kuchar enters the week as the defending champion.