Top ten for Shubhankar Sharma, Billy Horschel clinches BMW PGA Championship

Shubhankar Sharma shot seven birdies on Sunday, posting 66 to finish the week in T9 at 15-under 273, just four strokes behind Billy Horschel

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Shubhankar Sharma - European Tour - Getty Images

13 September 2021: Billy Horschel made a stunning closing birdie to fulfil one of his great golfing ambitions and win his first Rolex Series title at the 2021 BMW PGA Championship. Shubhankar Sharma capped off another solid week with a final round 66 to secure a tenth top ten finish on the European Tour, besides the two victories he earned in 2018.

Shubhankar produced seven birdies against a lone bogey for a forceful finish to one of the biggest weeks on the European Tour. The Indian was also impressive on the difficult front nine, going spotlessly through with two birdies for a fine 33. He made five birdies on the second nine.

Horschel watched the event on television as a child and fell in love with Wentworth Golf Club when he finished in the top five on his debut two years ago.

Billy Horschel - European Tour - Getty Images
Billy Horschel of the United States of America with the BMW PGA Championship trophy at Wentworth Golf Club in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The 34-year-old said he would rank a win at the prestigious event alongside a victory at The PLAYERS Championship, and he carded a closing 65 to finish at 19 under and beat Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, home favourite Laurie Canter and Welshman Jamie Donaldson by one shot.

Horschel already has a World Golf Championships title under his belt this season and this victory moves him up to second on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex. He becomes the first American to win a Rolex Series event and just the second to win the BMW PGA Championship after the great Arnold Palmer in 1975.

“Man, I’m speechless, which is very, very rare. As I’ve said two years ago and as I said this week the crowds are absolutely unbelievable here and they supported me when I came over in 2019 and they supported me this year. Played really good today, really well. Obviously missed a few putts. To win this event means a lot,” said Horschel.

“I think started off, making par at the first was huge. Fooch (his caddie Matt Fucher) and I played a flyer like we have all week and hit it over the green and made a big putt for par. I played really great all around. Making the birdie at 15 was huge. Getting me I think tied for the lead at the moment at 18-under with three holes to play, three birdie holes, and I knew if I could birdie two of the three I probably would win the event. But one birdie was good enough.

“I didn’t realise I was the first American to win a Rolex event. Obviously, the Rolex Series has been around for a few years, and I know some of the other guys have played some of the other Rolex Series events. I didn’t realise that I was the first one to do it, and that’s pretty special.

“To add my name to Arnold Palmer, that’s legendary stuff. That guy, if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have this modern era of golf to play in front of thousands of fans and big sponsors. Tiger Woods took it to another level but Arnie is the one who started it.

“So to have my name on that trophy next to his being the second American to win this event here at Wentworth is pretty special. As I said yesterday and as I said today, this event to me after I left here in 2019 was an event I wanted to win in my career before it ended and it rivals or it’s equal to me in the sense of THE PLAYERS. This event has historical preference. The winners of this event are legendary. You know, this is very equal to me in the sense of THE PLAYERS Championship on the PGA TOUR.”

South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished at 17 under, a shot clear of England’s Andrew Johnston and Justin Rose and Italian Francesco Laporta.

In the race for an automatic place in Padraig Harrington’s Ryder Cup team, a closing 72 was enough to see Bernd Wiesberger edge out Shane Lowry and join Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood as the qualifiers.

 

Final Round Scores

269 B HORSCHEL (USA) 70 65 69 65,
270 K APHIBARNRAT (THA) 64 68 74 64, J DONALDSON (WAL) 69 66 69 66, L CANTER (ENG) 67 66 70 67,
271 C BEZUIDENHOUT (RSA) 64 72 68 67,
272 J ROSE (ENG) 67 68 72 65, A JOHNSTON (ENG) 70 69 68 65, F LAPORTA (ITA) 68 65 69 70,
273 T PIETERS (BEL) 70 66 71 66, S SHARMA (IND) 70 69 68 66, S CROCKER (USA) 71 68 66 68,
274 M SCHWAB (AUT) 69 69 69 67, T FLEETWOOD (ENG) 71 68 68 67,
275 D LAW (SCO) 72 69 68 66, A RAI (ENG) 70 70 67 68, A SCOTT (AUS) 65 69 70 71,
276 T PULKKANEN (FIN) 70 67 72 67, M KAWAMURA (JPN) 67 69 72 68, S LOWRY (IRL) 70 66 69 71,
277 F ZANOTTI (PAR) 70 66 73 68, J HANSEN (DEN) 69 68 72 68, M FITZPATRICK (ENG) 72 69 68 68, N H?JGAARD (DEN) 70 67 69 71, B WIESBERGER (AUT) 71 67 67 72,
278 S GALLACHER (SCO) 73 67 70 68, M KAYMER (GER) 70 68 70 70,
279 A NOREN (SWE) 70 70 72 67, A BJ?RK (SWE) 69 70 70 70, J LAGERGREN (SWE) 70 70 66 73,
280 D HORSEY (ENG) 72 68 73 67, M JIM?NEZ (ESP) 68 69 73 70, H STENSON (SWE) 69 71 70 70, D BURMESTER (RSA) 70 70 70 70, M ARMITAGE (ENG) 70 66 72 72,
281 A LEVY (FRA) 75 67 73 66, P LARRAZ?BAL (ESP) 68 70 75 68, J LUITEN (NED) 68 72 73 68, F MOLINARI (ITA) 69 73 70 69, L BJERREGAARD (DEN) 73 68 70 70, S HORSFIELD (ENG) 72 65 73 71, J SENIOR (ENG) 70 71 69 71, M SOUTHGATE (ENG) 70 72 68 71, R FISHER (ENG) 71 67 71 72, J WALTERS (RSA) 70 70 66 75,