New Zealand’s Ryan Fox staged a brilliant comeback to win the BMW PGA Championship as rising star Ludvig Aberg was brought down to earth at Wentworth.
Fox began the final round three shots behind leader Aberg and looked out of contention after running up a triple-bogey seven on the third, but covered his last 13 holes in eight under par for a closing 67.
An 18-under-par total gave Fox a one-shot victory over playing partner Aaron Rai and England’s Tyrrell Hatton, Rai agonisingly missing a long eagle putt on the 18th which could have given him the title or at least forced a play-off.
— BMW PGA Championship (@BMWPGA) September 17, 2023
Jon Rahm, who had been runner-up on each of his two previous appearances at Wentworth, carded an erratic 68 to claim fourth place on 16 under as seven members of Europe’s Ryder Cup side packed the top 10, with Rory McIlroy surging through the field with a 65.
Aberg, who had been seeking back-to-back victories in just his 10th event as a professional, held a two-shot lead after 54 holes but slumped to a closing 76 which included two double bogeys in the space of three holes.
Hatton had started the day five off the lead but birdied the second and third, almost made a hole-in-one on the fifth when his tee shot clattered into the pin and then holed out from a bunker on the sixth.
After dropping a shot on the eighth, further birdies on the 10th and 11th gave Hatton a four-shot lead before Fox began his charge with four birdies in five holes from the 10th to get within one.
Hatton then drove out of bounds on the 15th and was facing a seven-foot putt for bogey before play was suspended due to the threat of lightning, a putt he duly made after an 82-minute delay.
Fox was fortunate that a wayward drive on the same hole did not run deep into the trees but took full advantage, hitting a superb second shot from the pine straw to 10 feet and converting the birdie putt to lead outright.
Hatton birdied the last to set up the prospect of a play-off but, after Rai’s eagle attempt agonisingly caught the edge of the hole and stayed out, Fox calmly holed from six feet to seal a fourth DP World Tour title.