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Monday May 26, 2014 MYT 2:37:54 AM
Monday May 26, 2014 MYT 2:38:42 AM
by tony jimenez
VIRGINIA WATER England (Reuters) - World number 10 Rory McIlroy was pinching himself after ending one of the most turbulent weeks of his life by winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday.
McIlroy, who announced during an emotional news conference on Wednesday that his planned wedding to Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki had been called off, could not believe he had pulled off a victory in the European Tour's flagship event.
"I can't explain it," the 25-year-old Northern Irishman told reporters after a closing 66 earned a fairytale one-stroke win over Ireland's Shane Lowry.
"It's obviously been a week of very mixed emotions but I'm sitting here looking at this trophy going, 'How the hell did it happen?'."
McIlroy said the best place for him to be after Wednesday's announcement was out on the golf course, concentrating on the thing that comes most naturally to him.
"I guess when I got inside the ropes this week it was a little bit of a release," he explained.
"I was on my own and doing what I do best which is playing golf and that sort of gave me four or five hours of serenity or sanctuary or whatever you want to call it.
"I was just focusing on the job at hand which was to get the ball in the hole in the lowest number of shots possible."
McIlroy started the closing round seven strokes behind runaway leader Thomas Bjorn but the Dane slid out of contention with a final-round 75.
"It's been a great day," McIlroy said. "I didn't really expect to be in this position.
"I thought Thomas was playing very well and I thought it would have to be something really spectacular to catch him but when I saw he made a triple‑bogey on the sixth, all of a sudden I was only two behind and I thought I had a chance."
McIlroy was particularly pleased with the way he held his nerve at the 16th, 17th and 18th where he went par-birdie-birdie.
"Coming down the stretch my short game really saved me," he said. "I hit a terrible tee shot on 14 but played a great chip shot and got up and down.
"I then had three up and downs on 16, 17 and 18. I got a little unlucky with my second shot on 16, spinning back off the green, but chipped it up there to about four feet and holed that.
"Then the two up‑and‑downs on the last two holes sort of sealed the deal for me. It feels great to win on the European Tour again," added McIlroy after clinching his sixth victory on the circuit.
"It's been since the Dubai World Championship, just over 18 months, so it's nice to win again and it's obviously a great event to win."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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