By Keith Jackson at Wentworth
Last Updated: 22/09/19 6:35pm
Jon Rahm was frustrated at coming up short on the final day
Jon Rahm admitted losing out to Danny Willett at the BMW PGA Championship “hurts and stings” after he finished three shots behind the champion.
Rahm had led the tournament by two with two holes remaining in the third round, but an erratic finish allowed Willett to draw level heading into the final day and the Englishman opened up an early two-stroke advantage which he would not relinquish.
Rahm had to settle for outright second, three behind champion Willett
The Spaniard, making his debut in the Wentworth showpiece, stayed in touch with the former Masters champion but dropped shots at the 12th and 14th would prove costly as Willett remained two clear heading down the 72 hole.
Needing an eagle to have any hope of forcing extra holes, Rahm’s second to 18 came up short and found water, although he did get up-and-down from the drop zone to salvage a par and a closing two-under 70, earning him outright second on 17 under par.
“I’m not going to lie, it hurts and it stings,” said the world No 6, who has now recorded seven top-10 finishes in his last nine starts. “I played good all week and, up until the 13th hole, I was incapable of hitting an iron close to the pin and made a couple of stupid mistakes.
“I should have come closer than two shots on the last two holes, so I had my chances. Again, I did what I had to do. Just had a couple of really stupid mistakes there, and I’m just going to have to figure out why it happened.
Rahm admitted ‘stupid mistake’ at 12 and 14 were costly
“That stretch of holes 11 through 14 was key. Even though I made that birdie on 13, those mistakes on 12 and 14 cost me a lot and that’s why Danny came out on top.
“It’s easy to fixate 18 because I hit it in the water, but there was moments out there I could have done a lot more. The first few holes, I had short irons into the green and good shots, and just couldn’t hit it close and hitting 30-footers all day and I couldn’t put any pressure.
Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland
“At the same time, after coming from three weeks off, it was a solid round and a solid tournament. I’m happy with the way I played, but it still hurts a little bit.”
Rahm took nothing away from Willett’s performance, and admitted that the Englishman holing a bogey putt from close to 40 feet on the 11th was a pivotal moment of the final day.
Rahm and Willett were tied for the lead at the start of the day
“Danny played amazing golf, he played really, really good,” Rahm added. “I believe that 11th hole was the key moment of the match. He had a long, long putt for bogey and I had a decent chance for a birdie, and he makes a bomb for a bogey and I missed my putt right.
“That was at least a one-shot swing right there and if he doesn’t make it, I’m putting more relaxed without the whole crowd going crazy. That was a key moment of the match.”
European Tour Golf
September 23, 2019, 9:00pm