We also take a look back at four other notable final round triumphs at Wentworth
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 21/05/18 4:13pm
Alex Noren will defend his BMW Championship title at Wentworth in the knowledge he will struggle to better his astonishing final round performance 12 months ago.
Noren, chasing a spot in Thomas Bjorn’s European Ryder Cup team at Le Golf National in September, overturned a seven-shot deficit to earn a two-shot victory at the European Tour’s headquarters and the biggest cheque of his career.
The tournament is known as the flagship event on the European Tour, but held greater significance as the first stop on the newly inaugurated Rolex Series and Noren delivered a supreme performance to capture the title.
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Australian Andrew Dodt held a one-shot lead heading into the final round but Noren, trailing by seven, stole the show thanks to a marvellous display of ball striking at the renovated West Course.
Noren, who had won four times on the European Tour in 2016 during a resurgence in form, repeated Rory McIlroy’s feat of coming back from seven shots behind for victory.
Noren fires course-record 62 to win in 2017
Alex Noren fired a stunning course-record 62 to claim the biggest victory of his career at the BMW PGA Championship.
The Swede began his final round with a fast start – three birdies over his opening four holes – while a further gain at the seventh saw him move within touching distance of the leaders, on a day where many of the earlier starters were making good ground on the leaderboard.
After four consecutive pars, Noren enjoyed a three-hole birdie blitz from the 12th while another at the 16th saw him move into a share of the lead.
A pure five-iron at the par-five 18th enabled him to convert an eagle opportunity and set the clubhouse target – at 11 under – which was never caught despite the best efforts of Shane Lowry, Open champion Henrik Stenson, Branden Grace and Dodt.
How does Noren’s final round brilliance compare to other Sunday comeback success stories at the BMW PGA Championship?
Final day heroics at Wentworth
Alex Noren joined Simon Khan and Rory McIlroy as the only golfers to overcome a seven-stroke deficit on the final day at Wentworth.
Ignacio Garrido – 2003: The Spaniard trailed overnight leader Trevor Immelman by three shots but a final round 65 saw him finish at the summit of the field, after a play-off win over the South African at the first extra hole.
Garrido, who followed in the footsteps of his father to play at the Ryder Cup in 1997, failed to register a birdie on the closing two holes but moments after he finished his round watched as Immelman’s eagle putt for victory at the last just missed.
Immelman had lost a play-off at the Dunhill Championship earlier in the season and he was to suffer the same fate as a timely chip to two feet for birdie from Garrido proved the difference.
BMW PGA Championship in numbers
Ahead of a stellar field descending on Wentworth for this week’s BMW PGA Championship, we take a look at some of the essential statistics from the tournament – the European Tour’s flagship event.
Simon Khan – 2010: There was an unforeseen English champion at Wentworth as Khan recorded the biggest final-round comeback in the history of the tournament and upstage his higher-profile counterparts.
Khan, who had lost his European Tour card at the end of the previous season, was the beneficiary of late sponsor’s invitation and took full advantage of his opportunity, as the 37-year-old world No 471 captured the biggest title of his career.
A closing five-under 66 saw him earn a one-shot victory over nearest challengers Fredrik Andersson Hed and Luke Donald, thanks to three birdies on both the back and front nine holes, with his only dropped shot coming at the 16th.
Rory McIlroy – 2014: The Northern Irishman capped a rollercoaster week, which began with the news he had cancelled his wedding to former world No 1 tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.
Despite three missed cuts from his previous six visits to Wentworth, he underlined his standing at the top echelons of the sport with a closing six-under 66 to snatch an unlikely triumph one shot triumph over Shane Lowry, who had led by three shots at the turn.
McIlroy only moved into the outright lead at the penultimate hole and a second consecutive birdie at the closing hole – his closing sixth of the day, which included an eagle – proved enough for a dramatic victory.
Chris Wood – 2016: Wood, who went to the event as a fan in his junior days, might not have matched the final day performances by Khan and McIlroy but his victory was certainly no less sweeter.
The Englishman, trailing by three shots heading into the final round, produced a tournament-record front-nine 29 to surge into a four-shot lead, but three bogeys in four holes from the 14th saw the him lead by the solitary shot over clubhouse leader Rikard Karlberg.
Despite the huge pressure on his shoulders at the 18th tee, Wood showed good poise to card a closing par for a three-under 69 and ensure he earned the biggest victory of his career to date and aid his quest to earn selection for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine – which came to fruition.
Watch the BMW PGA Championship throughout the week, live on Sky Sports Golf, starting with Live on the Range from Wentworth on Wednesday from 3pm.
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