BMW PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy wins by a shot after closing 66 at Wentworth
Last Updated: 25/05/14 6:58pm
Rory McIlroy: came home in five-under 32 at Wentworth
Rory McIlroy shot a closing six-under-par 66 to charge to a one-shot victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
The 25-year-old Northern Irishman trailed Thomas Bjorn by seven shots overnight but overhauled him as the Dane stumbled to a closing 75.
GB & Ire unless stated
-14 R McIlroy
-13 S Lowry
-12 L Donald
-12 T Bjorn (Den)
-9 S Gallacher
-9 S Dyson
Click here for collated scores
Luke Donald needed an eagle at the last to force a play-off but found the water in front of the green with his second shot.
That meant Shane Lowry's monster birdie putt on 18 earned the Irishman second place on his own after a closing 68.
A remarkable victory completed an emotional week for former world No 1 McIlroy, whose personal life made headlines all over the world in the days before the European Tour's showpiece tournament began.
Remarkably, this is McIlroy's first win on European soil, although it is his sixth European Tour win in 134 starts and his first since the 2012 DP Tour World Championship.
He also becomes the first Northern Irish winner of this event and he equals the largest final round comeback - matching the seven shots Simon Khan overcame to win in 2010.
McIlroy only took the outright lead for the first time with a birdie on the 71st hole and made another on the last to finish 14 under par, one ahead of Lowry with two-time winner Donald and Bjorn a shot behind in third.
Lowry had briefly been three clear when he started the back nine with a hat-trick of birdies, but drove into trouble on the 13th and ran up a double-bogey six.
Bjorn began the day five shots clear of playing partner Donald but both players ran up triple bogeys on the sixth to throw the tournament wide open, Bjorn taking two shots to get out of a fairway bunker and then finding more sand with his fourth shot.
That brought back unpleasant memories of the Dane's collapse in the 2003 Open at Sandwich, when he took three to escape from a greenside bunker on the 16th in the final round and lost by one to Ben Curtis.
Donald responded with five birdies in his next 10 holes - chipping in on the 13th and 16th - but crucially failed to birdie the 17th which meant he needed an eagle on the last to tie.
Bjorn also needed a three on the 18th after birdies on the 16th and 17th, but after Donald had found the water with his approach, the 43-year-old's third shot came up well short of the flag to confirm McIlroy's triumph.