European captain Luke Donald would have ideally liked to see one of his 12-man side win the BMW PGA Championship ahead of the Ryder Cup at the end of the month but, although New Zealand’s Ryan Fox prevailed, Donald would have been thrilled to see a host of his key men finish well up the leaderboard.
All 12 of Donald’s men were in action in the DP World Tour’s flagship tournament where they all made the cut with seven of the side going on to finish tied 10th or better. The leading finisher was Tyrrell Hatton, who was tied second on 17-under after a final round 66 which saw him finish just a shot behind Fox.
Jon Rahm recorded a final round 68 to get to 16-under on his own for a fourth place finish, as he was left to rue some erratic play including four bogeys in five holes on the front nine. A place and a shot behind him in fifth was Viktor Hovland, who shot a five-under 67 for a 15-under total.
Tommy Fleetwood was sixth on 14-under after a level-par final round left him a shot ahead of Rory McIlroy in tied seventh, who shot a brilliant final round 65 that saw the Irishman get off to a blistering start on four-under-par after four holes.
In tied tenth were two of Donald’s captain’s picks as Ludvig Aberg and Sepp Straka both finished on 12-under. Swedish Aberg was no doubt disappointed with his final round 76 to lose top spot on the leaderboard, but he showed his class in the first three rounds as the newly-turned professional continues to impress on Tour.
Fellow wildcard, Shane Lowry, was tied 18th after a one-under 71 in the final round for a 10-under total, which was the same as team mate, Matt Fitzpatrick. Elsewhere, veteran and wildcard Justin Rose finished on five-under, with a level-par final round leaving him tied 36th.
Further down, in tied 45th, Robert MacIntyre closed with a 70 for a four-under total, while wildcard Nicolai Hojgaard ended up tied 64th after shooting 72 for a level-par total.
Pundit and ex-Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley, assessed on Sky Sports: “There was a lot of form from those guys. We are up against a very strong American side but…