Billy Horschel claims 2021 BMW PGA Championship title

Billy Horschel claims 2021 BMW PGA Championship title

12/09/2021

Billy Horschel became the first American to win the BMW PGA Championship since the great Arnold Palmer in 1975 as he fulfilled one of his golfing ambitions to win his first Rolex Series title on Sunday afternoon at Wentworth.

The American used to watch the event on television as a child and fell in love with Wentworth when he finished in the top five on his debut two years ago.

The 34-year-old said he would rank a win at European Tour HQ alongside a victory at The Players Championship - the event known by many as the 'fifth Major' - and he carded a closing 65, which included a stunning closing birdie, to finish at 19 under and beat Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, home favourite Laurie Canter and Welshman Jamie Donaldson by one shot.

South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished at 17 under, a shot clear of England's Andrew Johnston and Justin Rose and Italian Francesco Laporta.

Horschel already has a World Golf Championships title under his belt this season and this victory moves him up to second on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex.

He becomes the first American to win a Rolex Series event and just the second to win this event after the great Arnold Palmer in 1975.

Speaking to the European Tour after his win, Horschel said: "It's been an unbelievable week. "I'm excited to be the 2021 BMW PGA Champion.

"This event to me after I left here in 2019 was an event I wanted to win in my career before it ended.

"Adding my name to Arnold Palmer, that's legendary stuff. That guy, if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have this modern era of golf to play in front of thousands of fans and big sponsors. Tiger Woods took it to another level but Arnie is the one who started it. So to have my name on that trophy next to his being the second American to win this event here at Wentworth is pretty special.

"As I've said two years ago and as I've said this week, the crowds are absolutely unbelievable here.

"I love watching their sports over here. They have a great passion for their teams and their national teams and they really get behind them. So I understand that, I can embrace that, I love that. I think I've just done a really good job of embracing the surroundings and the people, and I think they have taken kindly to me and I appreciate that."

In the race for an automatic place in Padraig Harrington's Ryder Cup team, a closing 72 was enough to see Bernd Wiesberger edge out Shane Lowry and join Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood as the nine qualifiers.

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