Ryan Fox birdied the par-five 18th hole of Wentworth’s West Course to win the BMW PGA Championship by one shot and claim the biggest prize of his career.
The 36-year-old New Zealander entered the final day three shots off the lead and when he made a triple-bogey on the difficult third, he could have been forgiven for thinking that his chance had gone. But the resilient Kiwi, who finished third at last week’s Irish Open, picked up two birdies on the front nine to turn in 36 and then came home in 31, birdieing the last from six feet after laying up for a closing 67, to finish at 18 under, one clear of Tyrrell Hatton and Aaron Rai.
Fox, who won twice on the DP World Tour in 2022, said: “I’m immensely proud. It’s such an iconic tournament. I know Michael Campbell has won around here when it was the match play event and to add to that history here and create some of my own is very special.”
“To have a back nine like that, especially after how I started the day, is amazing. I played great. I pretty much didn’t miss a shot from the third hole onwards and saw a couple of putts go in and it was a pretty cool feeling on the last to sort of know I had one to win and actually make it. To come over here and have a good week in Ireland last week and now to have this happe don’t think I could have wished for better.”
Fox picked up a cool €1,435,857 for the win and moved into the world’s top 30 for the first time in his career.
For so long on Sunday, this looked like Tyrrell Hatton’s tournament to lose. He played the front nine in 31 and birdied the 10th and 11th to establish a lead. A dropped shot at the 15th proved a killer blow, however, after he went out of bounds with his tee shot a dropped a shot. A brave birdie at the last was cheered on by the home fans, but it wasn’t enough, and he signed for a 66. “I definitely have mixed emotions,” he said. “It was nice to have a great week in Ireland, and now here, so I take some confidence from that to Rome. I am really excited to be part of Team Europe.”
Jon Rahm finished fourth on 16 under after a messy closing 68 that included six birdies, an eagle and four bogeys, one ahead of Ryder Cup team-mate Viktor Hovland and two clear of Tommy Fleetwood. Rory McIlroy made a charge through the field on Sunday with a closing 65 and finished in a tie for seventh at 13 under alongside Adam Scott and Callum Shinkwin.
Third round leader Ludvig Åberg slumped to a closing 76, after making double bogeys at holes 5 and 7, and finished in a tie for 10th, but European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald will have been delighted by the young Swede’s overall performance, as well as that of the other 11 European team members who all made the cut, with seven finishing inside the top 10.
For all the scores from the BMW PGA Championship, click here.