The DP World Tour's flagship event certainly lived up to the billing and despite being shortened to 54 holes, we were all treated to a sensational Sunday with the world's best battling it out around wonderful Wentworth.
England's Andy Sullivan and Tommy Fleetwood, along with Norway's Viktor Hovland, led the way after the opening round with eight-under-par 64s but Sullivan and Fleetwood both fell away in round two on Saturday, shooting hugely disappointing rounds of 72 and 73 respectively.
Hovland backed up Thursday's 64 with a four-under-par 68 in round two to tie the lead with Soren Kjeldsen and with a round to go, the pair went into Sunday trading at 4.47/2 and 17.5 respectively but lurking menacingly in tie for third, alongside Thomas Detry and Rafa Cabrera-Bello on -11, pre-event 8.07/1 favourite, Rory McIlroy, returned to the head of the market.
McIlroy began the final round trading at around 4.03/1 and his price dipped to a low of 2.35/4 when he eagled the par five fourth, but that was as good as it got for the 2014 winner.
Playing the next five holes in one-over-par, Rory made the turn with work to do, and he was always under pressure after that but he still fared better than his market rival with a round to go, Hovland, who having been matched at a low of 2.8415/8 following birdies at five and seven, Hovland played the next nine holes in two-over par as it soon became apparent that the man to beat was Shane Lowry, despite the remarkable finish by the world number six, Jon Rahm.
The pre-event second favourite began the final round trailing by six in a tie for 34th and trading at around 300.0299/1 and he was matched at a 1000.0 as he played the front nine.
The Spaniard played his first eight holes in just one-under-par but after a birdie at the tough ninth, he flew home in 29, despite a bogey at the par four 15th to post a ten-under-par 62 and a tournament total of 16-under-par and there were moments when it looked like it might just be enough to get him into a playoff.
Flying finishes are nothing new at Wentworth
When Rory took the title eight years ago, beating the luckless Lowry by a stroke, he came from seven shots adrift with a round to go. Simon Khan won the 2010 edition from seven back also and Lowry was again in-contention when Alex Noren took the title in 2017, having been a 220.0219/1 chance on Sunday morning when he too trailed by seven in a tie for 23rd!
With Rory on the premises and with Lowry having holes in hand, although Rahm led in the clubhouse by two over everyone bar Lowry, who was alongside Rahm with as many as six holes to play, the Spaniard's price dipped no lower than 5.24/1.
It was always long odds-on that Lowry would pick up at least one more birdie over the last third of the course, but we had to wait until the very end.
Pars at 13, 14, 15 and 16 were followed by a poor drive on par the five 17th which took the green out of range in two but after a par there, he hit a brilliant drive on the 18th before this perfect five iron to set up an eagle opportunity.
Understandably, Lowry left his defensive eagle putt short before tapping in for a birdie four to hit the front, but it still wasn't a done deal.
Trailing by two having agonisingly missed his birdie putt on 17, Rory McIlroy gave himself an eagle opportunity of his own from inside 24 feet to tie Lowry but it wasn't to be for the world number three as his attempt missed by the narrowest of margins.
Lowry, who was generally a 19.018/1 chance before the off, didn't drop a shot all week long and his brilliant bogey-free victory sees him climb in to the top-20 of the Official World rankings.
Referring to the presence of the LIV Tour players in the field this week, Lowry declared the result as "one for the good guys" and whether you agree with that sentiment or not, it was certainly a deserved win for the Irishman.
Lowry's supported the BMW PGA Championship brilliantly, turning up every year since he made his debut in 2010, and after several near misses (four top-sixes), he was due his victory.
Other than the English trio of Tommy Fleetwood, Danny Willett and LIV defector, Lee Westwood, Lowry was the only star name in the field to have played in the previous ten editions, so it was nice to see his commitment rewarded.
Nobody could begrudge him finally getting his nose in front but I'm not absolutely sure we could have resented Westwood finally winning the event either given he was making his 17th consecutive appearance in the event.
The 2022/23 PGA Tour season kicks off on Thursday with the Fortinet Championship and on the DP World Tour, Rory and co visit next year's Ryder Cup venue - the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club - for the Italian Open, which also kicks off on Thursday. I'll be back later today or tomorrow with the previews.
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