Rory McIlroy will happily take this back-door top 10.
Coming from seven shots behind to start the final round at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in England, McIlroy closed with 6-under 66 to win the flagship event of the European Tour by a shot over Shane Lowry and two over 54-hole leader Thomas Bjorn and Luke Donald.
McIlroy began his round with four consecutive pars before an eagle at the par-5 fifth to jumpstart the charge. However, two bogeys and just one birdie on the front side had him out in 1-under 35. McIlroy was magnificent on the second nine, making five birdies and not dropping a shot. The Ulsterman made birdies on both of the closing par 5s, requiring one of his pursuers to make an eagle at the last to tie him. None did.
The win is remarkable considering McIlroy announced the end of his engagement to former No. 1 tennis player Caroline Wozniacki before the tournament. That was self-inflicted, like so many of McIlroy’s problems.
What’s more remarkable is the win after a tumultuous week and overcoming his atrocious record at Wentworth Club. McIlroy’s first-round 68 was his first under-par round at Wentworth in three years, dating back to the 2011 third round. Never in his career has McIlroy carded four under-par rounds at this venue.
The unexpected win gets McIlroy back into the conversation of who is the No. 1 player in the world, at least as far as the Official World Golf Ranking is concerned. But McIlroy should be in the conversation regardless of what the algorithm tells us. McIlroy has been brilliant all season, at least by finish, finishing in the top 10 in all but two of his 11 worldwide starts in the ’13-14 season.