Ryan Fox upstages Tyrrell Hatton to claim BMW PGA Championship

Ryan Fox overcame an early triple bogey to claim the 2023 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth by one stroke over England's Tyrrell Hatton and Aaron Rai.

Ryan Fox upstages Tyrrell Hatton to claim BMW PGA Championship
Ryan Fox upstages Tyrrell Hatton to claim BMW PGA Championship

Ryan Fox overcame a triple bogey to claim the PGA Championship at Wentworth by one stroke from England's Tyrrell Hatton and Aaron Rai. 

The last thing on Fox's mind after the third hole was winning the Rolex Series event after he lost his tee shot way, way right. 

After the devasting triple, the New Zealander went on a tear round the West Course, notching eight birdies to reach 18-under. 

England's Hatton looked as though he was going to be the champion but was staring down the barrel of a double or worse on the 15h tee box. 

With a two-shot lead, Hatton hit his tee shout out of bounds. It had just started raining and his driver slipped out of his hands, he later said. 

He recovered to make a clutch bogey, sinking a putt after being made to wait nearly an hour because of a weather delay. 

Hatton had opportunities to move clear of the field once again at 16 and 17 but saw his birdie putts slide agonisingly by the cup. 

The Englishman did take advantage of his closing hole, though, fist-pumping after seeing a birdie putt drop to a thunderous crowd. 

Behind Hatton, Fox decided to lay up and span his approach to inside 10 feet.

England's Rai was on in two strokes and very nearly sank a monster eagle putt to pip both Fox and Hatton. 

But Fox converted to claim his fourth DP World Tour win and become first player from New Zealand to win the tour's flagship event. 

"I certainly didn't think I would be talking to you [the media] after the third hole today," said an elated Fox. 

He added: "I don't really know what to think at the moment to be honest. I've always struggled a little bit around here. I've maybe snuck one top 20 and struggled to make any cuts around here.

"To have a back nine like that, especially after how I started the day, yeah, it's amazing. I played great. [I] pretty much didn't miss a shot from the third hole onwards and saw a couple of putts go in and it was pretty cool feeling on the last to sort of know I had one to win and actually make it."

Elsewhere, reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm finished solo fourth on 16-under. 

Viktor Hovland, Tommy Fleetwood, Rory McIlroy and 54-hole leader Ludvig Aberg finished inside the top-10. 

Aberg, one of Luke Donald's Ryder Cup wildcards, endured a disastrous start and eventually posted a 4-over 76. 

McIlroy looked as though he was going to be in contention and post a good target but failed to convert the scorable holes down the stretch. 

It led to an outburst of anger on the 17th hole. 

As for Hatton, he said it's hard to be too disappointed about what happened on the 15th hole. 

"It's definitely mixed emotions," he said. "It was nice to be in it; this tournament means a lot to me. Would have been nice to win with fans, especially my dad being here, that would have been cool.

"But seeing Foxy out there, a pretty special 13 holes. Not sure I'll be disappointed with the tee shot on 15, started raining pretty heavy. It is what it is. Tried my best and it was a great week."

Final leaderboard:

  • R. Fox -18
  • A. Rai, T. Hatton -17
  • J. Rahm -16
  • V. Hovland -15
  • T. Fleetwood -14
  • C. Shinkwin, A. Scott, R. McIlroy -13
  • L. Aberg -12

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