VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — Billy Horschel felt aggrieved this week at the manner in which he missed out on a U.S. Ryder Cup team. So he took down a bunch of leading Europeans by himself.
Horschel birdied Wentworth’s storied 18th hole after an approach shot that spun back inside 2 feet, finishing with a 7-under 65 on Sunday for a one-shot victory in the BMW PGA Championship.
He became only the second American to win what is traditionally regarded as the biggest event on the European Tour, after Arnold Palmer in 1975. Not a bad way to get over the disappointment of being overlooked for a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup team.
Horschel finished at 19-under 269. Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64), Laurie Canter (67) and Jamie Donaldson (66) tied for second.
A number of European players who couldn’t keep up with Horschel at Wentworth will be heading to Whistling Straits. On a dramatic day of twists and turns in the final qualifying event, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton were able to celebrate getting the final automatic qualifying places in the European team. Westwood made it for an 11th time, Wiesberger for the first.
Shane Lowry shot 71 to tie for 17th and miss out on an automatic spot, but was named as one of Padraig Harrington’s captain’s picks later Sunday along with Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter. Justin Rose was overlooked despite shooting 65 on Sunday to stake his claim to Harrington. Jon Rahm, McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland and Paul Casey secured automatic spots before the event.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Toms beat Dicky Pride with a par on the first hole of a playoff in the PGA Tour Champions’ inaugural Ascension Charity Classic.
Toms hit his approach in the playoff on the par-4 18th to the middle of the green and two-putted from 18 feet. Pride’s approach went to the right into a greenside bunker and his 16-footer for par stopped an inch short of going in.
The 54-year-old Toms scrambled for par on the 18th in regulation after driving left into a fairway bunker. He shot a 5-under 66 to finish at 10-under 203 on Norwood Hills’ West Course, the tree-lined layout where Ben Hogan won the 1948 PGA Championship for his second major title.
Pride finished with a 67, forcing the playoff with a 20-foot birdie putt on 18.
Toms won the 2001 PGA Championship for one of his 13 PGA Tour titles, and took the 2018 U.S. Senior Open for his only other victory on the 50-and-over tour.
Jay Haas birdied the 18th to shoot his age of 67 and tie for third with Woody Austin (65) at 9 under.
Mone Inami closed with an 8-under 64 for a four-stroke victory in the Japan LPGA’s major JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup. She finished at 19 under at Shizu Hills. Mao Saigo was second after a 69. ... Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul won the VP Bank Swiss Ladies for her second Ladies European Tour victory of the season. The 18-year-old Thitikul closed with a 6-under 66 to finish at 16 under at Holzhausern Golf Park, a stroke ahead of Norway's Marianne Skarpnord (68). ... Hana Jang ran away with the Korean LPGA’s KB Financial Group Star Championship winning by seven strokes. She closed with a 1-under 71 to finish at 10 under at Blackstone in Incheon. ... Angel Hidalgo of Spain won the Big Green Egg German Challenge by two strokes for his first European Challenge Tour title. The 23-year-old Hidalgo shot four straight 3-under 68s to finish at 12 under at Wittelsbacher Golf Club.
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