BMW PGA Championship 2014 Rory McIlroy
Posted at May 26, 2014
Rory McIlroy's victory at the BMW PGA Championship has been a long time coming but will spark greater interest in the second major of 2014!
It was arguably the biggest week on the European Tour calendar. The glitz and glamour of the player awards followed by the flagship event, sponsored by BMW, with a huge prize pool of $4,750,000 large enough to attract the biggest names in the sport meant that the media were already in a frenzy even before Rory McIlroy brought news which would spark worldwide interest. Not since the furore around Tiger Woods and his wrongdoings has a golfing relationship become front page material, but McIlroy announcing his split with fiancé Caroline Wozniacki immediately before such an important event was always going to be big news. McIlroy brought the additional attention upon himself but, just when his world seemed to be falling apart, something clicked and everything else simply fell neatly into place for the first time since November 2012.
During the press conference before his first round at the BMW PGA Championship, McIlroy looked visibly upset and was almost submissive, highly doubting his chances of even making the cut this week. His thoughts were clearly elsewhere and it would take a monumental effort to overcome them to challenge an incredibly strong field which was lined up for Wentworth. Then, something changed him at the seventh hole that day. The sun broke through the clouds as his second shot trickled back from the fringe and dropped for an eagle, forcing Rory to crack a rare smile. Maybe, just maybe this week could turn out to be a success after all.
And what a success it was. Enveloped in his golf and maintaining a focus which has let him down on so many occasions this season, he put together three solid rounds and was tied for fourth going into Championship Sunday - albeit seven shots behind the in-form Thomas Björn. Making the most of the wet weather, Rory shot a teriffic round of 66 on Sunday and watched the experience Dane succumb to the Wentworth pressure, throwing away his lead early on and never really threatening to climb back on top. Incredibly, it was the first time he had won a tour event on European soil, at a venue which he admits is not great for his game and the week of turmoil he had endured off the course simply made the feat that much more surprising.
It was a strange day but a great day all the same; Adam Scott justified his number one title by surging up the leaderboard at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and simultaneously rejuvenated interest in the sport. For many months, it almost felt like something had been missing from the game. Henrik Stenson has failed to capitalise on a stellar 2013 season and hasn't particularly lit up the game in similar fashion this year; Jordan Spieth has looked like a promising talent but has twice surrendered his challenge on the big stage, whilst many surprise victors in 2014 has prevented many of the iconic stars in the game from winning titles. But with Scott's victory as world number one, the re-emergence of Rory McIlroy and also Players Championship winner Martin Kaymer, the big names in golf are back in the limelight and that will undoubtedly generate heightened interest from across the world for the US Open, which begins at Pinehurst next month.