Rolex Series

Wiesberger secures his place at Whistling Straits

Bernd Wiesberger secured an automatic qualification place for Europe's Ryder Cup team as Shane Lowry missed out on a dramatic afternoon at the 2021 BMW PGA Championship.

Bernd Wiesberger

With Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland and Paul Casey already assured of their places at Whistling Straits entering the third Rolex Series event of the 2021 Race to Dubai, four automatic places were up for grabs at Wentworth Golf Club.

While a host of scenarios were possible at European Tour HQ, it was always likely that Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick would secure their second Ryder Cup appearances and so it proved, leaving Wiesberger, Lowry, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose battling it out on the final day.

The day began with Lowry and Rose on the outside looking in and while Rose carded an excellent 65 thanks to a stunning eagle on the last, his 16 under par total was not enough to hand him the win he needed to have a chance.

Wiesberger started Sunday having dislodged McIlroy from the European Points List to the World Points List, pushing Lowry out of the worldwide standings and leaving Westwood in the final spot.

Lee Westwood

But the Englishman carded a 77 to drop to level par and leave the door open for Lowry, who knew a good finish could knock out the 25 time European Tour winner.

A birdie on the fourth pushed Lowry ahead of Westwood in the standings but the reigning Race to Dubai champion soon found himself back in as Fitzpatrick made four birdies in five holes on the back nine to surge up the European places and remove Wiesberger, opening up a place on the World Points List for Westwood.

But the man from Sheffield made an eight on the 17th to drop back below the Austrian and Westwood was once again on the outside, with Lowry's destiny in his own hands.

The 2019 Open Champion could not hold on, however, and a run of bogey, double on the 14th and 15th dropped him down the leaderboard and assured that Westwood was guaranteed an 11th Ryder Cup appearance.

For Wiesberger, it will be a first, and the two time Rolex Series Champion was proud to become the first Austrian to take on the United States.

It's been a lifelong goal for me to be part of a European team and I'm very proud to have just done enough to get into that team

"I have never felt quite like it on a golf course before," he said. "I've been in a situation where I was playing for tournaments but everybody says this is bigger and it already feels that way. That was really, really hard.

"It's been a lifelong goal for me to be part of a European team and I'm very proud to have just done enough to get into that team and go to Whistling Straits in a couple of weeks.

"I'm going to probably need a couple of days off but I'm going to be as ready as I can for the captain and the team and I'm really looking forward.

"It's a big relief and it's an unbelievable week to be part of the European team.

"In 2018 in France, I was doing Sky Germany (television coverage) because I had an operation on my arm and it inspired me a lot to be part of this team."

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