BMW PGA Championship

BMW PGA Championship

BMW PGA Championship
Virginia Water, Surrey, England
Winner: Danny Willett

After missing the cut in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in 2018, Danny Willett had slumped to 462nd in the World Ranking. The man from Sheffield had been ranked 12th before winning the Masters in 2016, but injuries and loss of form took their toll. The 31-year-old Englishman’s revival under the tutelage of coach Sean Foley led to his first victory since Augusta at the DP World Tour Championship at the end of the 2018 European Tour.

With the BMW PGA Championship moving from May to September, Willett had made steady if unspectacular progress in 2019 before winning for the first time on British soil with his seventh European Tour title. “I’ve watched this tournament for a lot of years,” he said. “It’s always nice to be able to compete on home soil. I’ve had a couple looks at the Open but to be able to win finally on such an iconic golf course, with I think one of the best fields they have had, is great.”

Willett defeated Jon Rahm by three strokes after the pair went head-to-head over the final 36 holes. They were tied on 11 under par at the halfway stage, Willett with scores of 68 and 65, Rahm with a 66 and a 67, before both added 68s on Saturday. The Spaniard had been two ahead before finishing six-five over the pair of closing par-fives.

After three days of late summer sunshine, a rainy final round saw Willett edge ahead with birdies at the second and third holes. Rahm got one back at the fourth, but Willett birdied the eighth to go two clear again. After the pair birdied the short 10th, Willett got away with a bogey at the 11th by holing from 40 feet. A wild drive was followed by a recovery that hit a tree and ended in the heather. A full-blooded attempt for his third saw his ball dribble into a bunker two yards ahead and left a sting in his wrist.

Rahm could not capitalize, dropping shots at the long 12th and short 14th before finding water at the last. Willett birdied the last two holes — his approach at the last was good, but not quite as good as Ross Fisher’s albatross on Saturday — for a 67 and a 20-under-par total of 268. Rahm finished with a 70 to be a shot ahead of Christiaan Bezuidenhout, with Americans Billy Horschel and Patrick Reed tying for fourth place.


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