PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy soothes pain with Wentworth win

BMW PGA Championship, final-round leaderboard

  • -14: R McIlroy (NI)
  • -13: S Lowry (Ire)
  • -12 : T Bjorn (Den), L Donald (Eng)
  • -9 : S Gallacher (Sco), S Dyson (Eng)
  • -8 : M Siem (Ger), H Stenson (Swe), T Aiken (SA), F Molinari (Ita), P Larrazabal (Spa)

Double-major winner Rory McIlroy found solace on the golf course after the heartache of his recent split with fiancée Caroline Wozniacki by winning the PGA Championship.

The 25-year-old came from seven shots behind 54-hole Wentworth leader Thomas Bjorn to card a six-under-par 66 and win by one.

Bjorn blew a six-stroke lead early on to finish two back with Luke Donald.

PGA Championship win like a rollercoaster - Rory McIlroy

McIlroy's good friend Shane Lowry finished outright second.

"When I was inside the ropes it was a little bit of a release. I was on my own, doing what I do best and it gave me four or five hours of serenity or sanctuary, whatever you call it," said McIlroy whose first win on European soil lifts him four places to sixth in the world rankings.

McIlroy and former world number one tennis player Wozniacki, 23, had been in a relationship since 2011 and the golfer proposed to the Dane on New Year's Eve.

McIlroy, who experienced a form slump in 2013 following his multi-million dollar Nike deal, last tasted success at the Australian Open at the end of last year.

The Northern Irishman said the past few days had been bizarre ahead of a busy June, which includes the US Open.

"I can't explain it. It's obviously a week of mixed emotions," he added. "I am looking at the trophy saying 'How the hell did it happen?'.

"I was asked in an interview how I feel and I don't know. I feel happy that I've won but it's been a weird week.

"I really wanted to win before going into the second major of the season. I couldn't have asked for a better way to prepare."

Donald, who like McIlroy has reached the summit of the world rankings, said he thought the world might again see the best of his Ryder Cup team-mate.

McIlroy magic - Rory's 12 wins

Rory McIlroy
  • 2009: Dubai Desert Classic
  • 2010: Wells Fargo Championship
  • 2011: US Open, Shanghai Masters, Hong Kong Open
  • 2012: Honda Classic, US PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship, DP World Tour Championship
  • 2013 : Australian Open
  • 2014: PGA Championship

He said: "I'm happy for Rory. We all know what he's been going through and sometimes making those tough decisions maybe takes a weight off your mind in a way and he can engulf himself in the golf."

McIlroy, who equalled Simon Khan's 2010 tournament record for the largest final-round comeback, began the day with plenty of ground to make up on 15-time tour winner Bjorn, 43.

However Lowry showed McIlroy the way by closing the gap with an eagle at the fourth and in the space of 15 minutes Bjorn's huge advantage had evaporated, the Dane bogeying the fifth and then racking up a horrible seven at the following hole.

Lowry moved into a three-shot lead before a costly doubly bogey six at the 13th, while McIlroy was producing a stunning par save at the par-three 14th.

McIlroy then birdied the closing two par fives, the long 17th and treacherous 18th, to leave his rivals in his wake and become the first Northern Irish winner of the European Tour's flagship event.