Ireland’s Shane Lowry labelled his BMW PGA Championship triumph on Sunday as “one for the good guys” in a swipe at the controversial LIV Golf Series.
Lowry pipped Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy to the title at Wentworth on Sunday in a tournament trimmed to 54 holes after Friday’s play was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Former US Open champion Rahm had set a testing clubhouse target of 16 under par following a brilliant final round of 62, featuring a back nine of just 29.
But Lowry responded with an eagle and five birdies of his own in a closing 65 to finish 17 under.
Rewarded for his consistency, the former British Open winner did not record a single bogey throughout the event.
McIlroy found himself needing to eagle the 18th to force a play-off with Lowry but saw his putt from 23 feet finish millimetres from the hole.
It was a dramatic end to an acrimonious week for a tournament featuring 18 players from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.
Lowry had said at the start of the week that he “can’t stand” the LIV stars being in the field after the breakaway tour plunged golf into civil war.
Meanwhile, LIV player Ian Poulter was seen in a heated exchange with American star Billy Horschel on the putting green before the tournament started.
American Talor Gooch was the top finisher from the LIV players at Wentworth in fourth place, and Lowry took the opportunity to hit back at the rival tour after his victory.
“I made no secret how I feel about the whole thing. I wanted to win for myself first and foremost, but for everyone that has stayed loyal to this Tour I really feel this is one for the good guys,” Lowry said.
“It’s been a good year, but felt like I’ve been close a few times and only a few tournaments left this season and I really wanted to win one and this was top of the list.
“I’m so happy. I can’t put into words how happy I am, how much I love this tour, this tournament. I’m the happiest man in the world right now.”
McIlroy, who carded a closing 67, has also been an outspoken critic of the LIV players and he admitted it was a relief to see his good friend Lowry pick up the trophy.
“I’m okay. I think Shane winning softens the blow. If it had been someone else, I might not have felt as comfortable with it as I am. Seeing a friend win is always great and I am really happy for him,” he said.
“I struggled today. I didn’t hit my irons very well. I was sort of scrambling a lot but I got the most out of my round.”