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Shane Lowry left to rue slip-ups as Noren storms to European PGA win

The Offaly native put himself in the lead after a series of front-nine birdies.

Ireland's Shane Lowry during day four of the 2017 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey.
Ireland's Shane Lowry during day four of the 2017 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

SWEDEN’S ALEX NOREN came from seven shots off the pace in the final round to win the European PGA Championship by two shots here at Wentworth on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Shane Lowry was left to ponder what might have been. The Offaly native put himself in the lead after a series of front-nine birdies before two double bogeys ended his hopes of triumphing.

The 34-year-old Swedish victor produced some stunning golf to go round in 62 –- 10-under-par –- for a winning total of 277, 11-under.

It is the second time he has shot a 62 on tour -– he managed it at the Portuguese Open –- and it was his fifth win in the last 11 months following victories at the Scottish Open, European Masters, British Masters and the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2016.

Italy’s Francesco Molinari birdied the last two holes to take second place outright on nine-under par, after a 68, one shot ahead of Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara.

Colsaerts handed in a 65, including two eagles on the back nine, but was left to rue a double bogey six on the 15th which marred his round.

Graeme Storm was best of the English challenge finishing in a tie for sixth spot alongside Lowry and overnight leader Andrew Dodt of Australia.

Noren had four birdies in his outward nine and another four coming home before he holed a 10-foot putt on the par-5 18th for an eagle.

He finished his round two hours before the overnight leaders but no-one in the field managed to come close to threatening him.

He equalled the record for the number of strokes back a winner of this tournament has come from and now sits alongside Rory McIlory, in 2014, and Simon Khan, in 2010 who also won from seven behind.

But Noren claimed he was not thinking about how much ground he had to make up especially after a bad finish to his third round on Saturday when he had a double bogey 7 at the 18th -– he was four shots better at the hole on the final day.

“I wasn’t thinking much of the deficit,” Noren said after his round.

“I was just trying to play a good round of golf and get into next week on a high.

“I was finishing the last hole yesterday very badly, and I mean, I was pretty angry after the round, and then took a long rest and tried to just have a good day.

“I came out holing putts on one and two, so anything can happen from there,” added Noren, who was winning his ninth EPGA Tour event.

Further down the field South Africa’s Dean Burmester shot a 65 for a four-round total of 282 and a share of ninth place whilst Justin Rose was in round in 67 to move up to 12th place –- level with another Englishman, Matthew Fitzpatrick.

But veteran Englishman Lee Westwood’s challenge faded after he teed off in the penultimate group.

Westwood who has played this tournament 24 times without winning it was round in 73, one over par, and finished in a tie for 14th spot.

Leading and selected scores from the fourth and final round of the European PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday

277 – Alex Noren (SWE) 68-75-72-62

279 – Francesco Molinari (ITA) 67-70-74-68

280 – Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 71-75-69-65, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 68-71-73-68, Hideto Tanihara (JPN) 76-69-67-68

281 – Graeme Storm 68-72-73-68, Shane Lowry 68-74-70-69, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 70-70-68-73

282 – Dean Burmester (RSA) 69-76-72-65, Ross Fisher 68-73-72-69, Branden Grace (RSA) 68-71-70-73

283 – Matt Fitzpatrick 73-73-71-66, Justin Rose 72-74-70-67

284 – Alexander Bjoerk (SWE) 70-75-73-66, Jaco van Zyl (RSA) 71-69-77-67, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 68-69-78-69, Nino Bertasio (ITA) 68-73-73-70, Scott Jamieson 67-70-76-71, Lee Westwood 70-69-72-73, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 67-75-71-71

285 – Peter Hanson (SWE) 70-73-74-68, Stephen Gallacher 73-73-70-69, Andrew Johnston 73-68-72-72

286 – Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 71-74-75-66, Scott Hend (AUS) 71-75-71-69, Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 73-70-73-70, Byeong Hun An (KOR) 70-69-75-72, Joost Luiten (NED) 71-71-72-72, Max Kieffer (GER) 70-68-75-73

Selected

287 – Li Haotong (CHN) 69-76-75-67

288 – Ian Poulter 76-69-73-70

290 – Chris Wood (72-74-73-71

291 – Ernie Els (RSA) 71-73-75-72

292 – Thongchai Jaidee (THA)72-72-76-72

294 – SSP Chawrasia (IND) 73-72-74-75

300 – Luke Donald 75-68-81-76

© – AFP 2017

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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