May 28, 2017: Alex Noren won the first ever Rolex Series event as a stunning closing 62 handed him a two-shot victory at the BMW PGA Championship. India’s SSP Chawrasia finished at T58 with 6-over par total.
The Swede entered Sunday seven shots off the lead but eight birdies in his first 16 holes had him in a tie for top spot before he produced one of the great moments on Wentworth Club’s famous 18th.
He put his second shot to six feet to send the bumper crowd into raptures and the resulting eagle putt handed him a two-shot lead and piled the pressure on the chasing pack.
After three days of glorious sunshine on the revamped West Course, heavy rain began to fall as the final groups made the turn and nobody could stop Noren claiming an ultimately convincing ninth European Tour victory.
Italy’s Francesco Molinari had a birdie-birdie finish to emerge as the closest challenger, with Open champion Henrik Stenson, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Japanese Hideto Tanihara finishing at eight under.
With the changes made to the West Course, the lowest round this week was always destined to be the course record but Noren’s closing effort also equals the lowest round in any of the layout’s guises and is the lowest final round ever on the course.
The 62 is also Noren’s joint-lowest round on Tour and was reminiscent of last season’s Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player where he finished with a 63 to win a fourth event of 2016.
Noren made a bright start with gains on the first, second, fourth and seventh helping him reach the turn in 31. The 34 year old added a hat-trick of gains from the 12th and when he rolled a stunning effort left-to-right up the hill on the 16th, he shared the lead before his big finish.
“It feels amazing and crazy because I had no intention of trying to win this morning,” said Noren, who has won five of his last 17 European Tour events.
“I didn’t even think about it when I came off the course quite angry yesterday after playing a good round and chipping it into the water from the back of the green on 18. It’s a great feeling now but it feels unreal.
It’s a tough course mentally coming down the stretch. It’s not super narrow but it’s just if you hit it a little bit wayward it can cost you. I putted probably the best I’ve ever putted”, said Noren.