Horschel wins Wentworth thriller as Lowry’s Ryder Cup fate out of his hands after 71

by Ronan MacNamara  

Shane Lowry by Golffile

Shane Lowry is adamant he has done enough to make Pádraig Harrington’s European Ryder Cup side despite a closing round of one-under 71 at the BMW PGA at Wentworth which allowed Lee Westwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger to steal a march and qualify automatically ahead of him.

There was also drama at the top of the leaderboard as Billy Horschel became the first American to win the BMW PGA since Arnold Palmer who would have turned 92 on Friday.

Lowry finished in a share of 17th to leave his Ryder Cup future out of his hands ahead of Harrington’s wildcard selections tonight.

It was all plain sailing for the Clara native who was two-under through 12 knowing he had two par-5s to finish. But the round began to slip away from him as he dropped three shots in two holes with a bogey on 14 and then a double bogey six on 14.

To his credit the 2019 Open champion rallied with two closing birdies to register a 71, but Lowry feels he has done enough over the course of the season which included four top-10s and no missed cuts since March.

“I’m disappointed with my day today, it was very gettable all day, no wind and the golf course was playing very gettable.

“A bit of a struggle in the middle of the back nine. I felt I had a few chances over the turn and I didn’t really do it this week, I played the 15th in five-over and only birdied the 12th once this week and that’s not really good enough.

“Disappointed not to be in the team automatically but I’m hoping the lads are going to pick me.

“I don’t normally talk myself up but I think I have played the golf good enough and I think I deserve to be on that (team) but that’s up to them,” he added.

Billy Horschel who arguably should also be on the plane to Whistling Straits as a captain’s pick for the USA was in scintillating form as he burst from the pack with a bogey-free seven-under 65 to win the European Tour’s flagship event by one shot from a trio in second place.

It adds to the WGC match play title he won earlier in the season.

Having raced to the turn in 32, Horschel birdied 11, 12 and 15 to leave him tied with Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Jamie Donaldson and Laurie Canter.

The 34-year-old held his nerve to birdie the 18th and take the title and the USA will certainly be missing one of the form players in the world right now as he looks to move into the world’s top-20.

Horschel proved a popular winner with a chorus of 'Billy' ringing around the 18th green.

"It's sweet I'll tell you that," Horschel said.

"It's been an unbelievable week and I am excited to be the 2021 Champion of the PGA."

Elsewhere, Graeme McDowell shot a closing two-under 70 to finish the week in 49th on five-under-par.

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