New Zealand’s Fox wins BMW PGA Championship

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Golf – European Tour – BMW PGA Championship – Wentworth, Virginia Water, Britain – September 17, 2023 New Zealand’s Ryan Fox celebrates with the trophy after winning the BMW PGA Championship alongside CEO of the PGA European Tour, Keith Pelley Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

(Reuters) -New Zealander Ryan Fox recovered from an early triple bogey to claim victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday, finding a birdie on the last hole to win by one stroke.

Fox began the day three shots adrift of overnight leader Ludvig Aberg and when he dropped three shots at the third he looked out of contention.

But he regained ground with a couple of birdies and then came home in 31 to finish on 18 under and edge out England’s home favourites Tyrrell Hatton and Aaron Rai.

Hatton had led by four shots through his opening 12 holes.

“I certainly didn’t think I’d be talking to you (as the winner) after the third hole today,” Fox told Sky Sports.

“I’ve always struggled a little bit around here. I think I’ve snuck maybe one top 20 and struggled to make any cuts.

“To have a back nine like that, especially how I started, was amazing.”

Sweden’s Aberg, who will make his Ryder Cup debut later this month after a sensational start to his professional career, fell away with a round of 76.

Spain’s world number three Jon Rahm finished with a 68 for a 16 under total, one ahead of Ryder Cup team mate Viktor Hovland and two clear of another Ryder Cup player Tommy Fleetwood.

World number two Rory McIlroy caught fire in his fourth round with a 65 to finish at 13 under.

McIlroy was one of seven European Ryder Cup players to finish in the top 10.

Fox had never managed a top-10 finish at the Wentworth event but arrived in good form after a finishing tied third at last week’s Horizon Irish Open.

He is the first New Zealander to win the tournament.

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