Shane Lowry never considered joining the LIV Golf International Series due to his belief the breakaway league is "bad for the game", suggesting the "ridiculous" prize money throughout golf will alienate fans.

Lowry edged past Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy to win the BMW PGA Championship last week, before labelling his victory "one for the good guys" amid the presence of LIV players at Wentworth.

While the 2019 Open winner criticised the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit in the build-up to that tournament, he attracted criticism earlier this year when he defended his decision to play the Saudi International by declaring; "I'm not a politician, I'm a golfer."

Lowry admitted he was wrong to make that remark, though his main objection to the existence of LIV Golf remains its decisive impact on the sport.

"When I said the 'I'm not a politician' remark, my first thought was 'why did I say that?' It was the wrong thing to say," he told the No Laying Up podcast.

"The thing is, I played the Saudi International for the last three years. So, for me, I would have been very hypocritical if I sat here and said, 'it's about where the money is coming from'.

"Will I go back and play the Saudi International next year? No. But I just think the LIV tour is bad for the game because it is very divisive.

"I am one of the players that thinks LIV should not exist. I don't like the idea of it.

"It is a tough subject for me to talk about because I have never been outspoken. The reason I hadn't is because no one had asked me about it. Rory is outspoken because every day he is in front of the media."

Lowry also believes the huge financial incentives available on every tour could turn fans away from golf, adding: "We are very lucky the corporate world loves golf and that's why we have such great sponsors and that's why we play for a lot of money.

"But I do feel like this is causing a division in the game and it's going to p*** people off.

"People are going to stop watching it. I think the amounts of money that are being thrown around are absolutely disgusting at the minute. I feel all people talk about is money now. 

"We play for points now in the FedEx Cup, but I watched the Tour Championship and all the commentators talked about was how much money they're going to win, and I thought, 'will you just talk about the trophy or the title or how many times Tiger [Woods] has won it?'

"The general Joe Soap, the guy who works his nuts off to make 50 grand a year and has to struggle to pay his membership at his golf club and loves the game so much, this probably p***** him off more than anyone."

An emotional Shane Lowry described his victory at the BMW PGA Championship as "one for the good guys".

Lowry finished ahead of Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy by one shot at Wentworth to win the sixth DP Tour title of his career in a tournament that had caused some controversy with the inclusion of players from the breakaway LIV Golf series.

One of those players, Patrick Reed, was the clubhouse leader after going round in 63 on Sunday to finish on 14 under overall, before an even better round from Rahm of 62 gave the Spaniard a two-shot clubhouse lead.

Lowry managed to catch Rahm on 16 under with six holes remaining, but struggled to edge ahead as he could only score par on his next five holes.

He eventually managed to add that elusive birdie on the par-five 18th to secure the win, and admitted afterwards it was a tournament he particularly wanted to succeed in.

"It means a lot," he said. "It's been a good year but I felt like I've been close a few times and I only have a few tournaments left this season and I really wanted to try and win one.

"Obviously this one is right up there at the top of the list. I love it here, I've contended in the past and even going down the back nine today… the bad shots I've hit down the years when I've been in contention actually started to creep into my head. It's amazing what this game does.

"I'm so happy, words can't [describe] how happy I am, how much this means to me, how much I love this tour, how much I love this tournament, and I'm the happiest man in the world right now."


The Irishman recalled the 2017 tournament when he had been in contention against eventual winner Alex Noren, only for the Swede to shoot 62 in his final round just as Rahm did on Sunday.

"I remember Alex Noren did that to me one year, the year he won he went out early and shot 62 and that came into my head," he added.

"I got to 16 [under] and tried to get past that but I also had to worry about Rory behind me because he could do anything down the last few holes, you know how good he is.

"I said to my coach this morning 'I need to just allow myself to play golf today, I'm playing the best golf of my life and I need to just allow myself to do that', and I did."

When asked if the circumstances around the tournament heightened his emotions when he won, Lowry conceded it had been a factor, having been among those who openly criticised the inclusion of LIV Golf members.

"I think so, yeah. I made no secrets as to how I feel about the whole thing at the start of the week and I wanted to go out and win this tournament for myself first and foremost, but I think for this tour and everyone who has stayed loyal to this tour and everyone that's done everything for this tour," he said.

"I really feel like this is one for the good guys."

Shane Lowry clinched victory at the BMW PGA Championship on the final hole at Wentworth, pipping Jon Rahm despite a historic final round from the Spaniard.

Following the suspension of play on Friday due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the tournament was reduced to 54 holes.

Rahm's round of 62 on Sunday gave him the clubhouse lead on 16 under par, and it could have been even lower had he not narrowly missed some birdie attempts early on.

His total of 29 on the back nine, which included two eagles, was the lowest in the tournament's history, despite a bogey on 15.

It looked likely that Lowry would overtake him when the Irishman also reached 16 under with six holes remaining, hitting an eagle on the fourth, and birdies on the seventh, eighth, 10th and 12th.

However, Lowry – the 2019 champion at The Open Championship – went on to par the next five, leaving a nervous wait to see if he could take advantage on the par five 18th.

Lowry did just that after an excellent approach shot that left him with two putts for birdie, which he executed to seal a sixth DP Tour win of his career.

Rory McIlroy finished joint-second with Rahm after carding a final round of 67, while overnight leaders Viktor Hovland and Soren Kjeldsen both slipped to T5 after only being able to go round in 70.

Patrick Reed had set the bar early in the day with his impressive round of 63, before Rahm overtook him, and the American also finished joint-fifth alongside Thomas Detry on 14 under, with Talor Gooch able to earn outright fourth after an eagle at the 18th.

A round of 65 from Lee Westwood saw him climb to T13, where he was joined by world number 443 Matthew Southgate, who carded his second round of 67 in a row.

Soren Kjeldsen carded a superb eight-under 64 on a belated second day of the BMW PGA Championship, tying for the lead with Viktor Hovland.

Having seen play postponed on Friday following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, matters resumed at Wentworth with Kjeldsen posting one of the scores of the day.

The Dane moved to 12 under for the tournament, but that was only enough for a share of the lead after Hovland built on his own 64 with a four-under 68.

Hovland had jointly held the lead with Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan at close of play on Thursday.

Fleetwood fell away in the second round, though, with a round of one over par – including a double-bogey at the four-par sixth – leaving him five back.

Rory McIlroy, pipped to the PGA Tour Player of the Year award by Scottie Scheffler on Saturday, continued his strong form with a seven-under 65.

That effort, which included an eagle at the par-five fourth, moved McIlroy to 11 under, one shot off the lead alongside Thomas Detry and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Meanwhile, the round of the day – and indeed the tournament so far – belonged to Australia's Min Woo Lee, who bounced back spectacularly from Thursday's 76 with a sensational 10-under 62, guided by two eagles and seven birdies.

Friday's play at the BMW PGA Championship has been suspended following confirmation of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Her Majesty passed away at her home in Balmoral on Thursday at the age of 96.

Play was immediately suspended at Wentworth once the news came through at 18:30 BST.

In a statement released later on Thursday, event organisers paid tribute to the Queen and confirmed there will be no action on Friday as a mark of respect.

"On behalf of our members and everyone associated with the European Tour group and the BMW PGA Championship, it is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," the statement read.

"She truly was an inspiration to people the world over. Out of respect for Her Majesty and the Royal Family, play has been suspended at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club for the remainder of Thursday and all flags at Wentworth Club will be lowered to half-mast.

"Furthermore, no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed. Further updates on the resumption of play will be provided in due course. Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the Royal Family at this time."

Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan and Viktor Hovland held a joint-lead with an eight-under par 64 when play came to a stop on Thursday.

The tournament was scheduled to conclude on Sunday.

Tommy Fleetwood impressed on his return to claim a share of the lead after round one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, shooting eight-under-par to end Thursday tied with Andy Sullivan and Viktor Hovland.

Fleetwood had not played since finishing fourth in the Open at St Andrews in July, having taken an extended period of absence following his mother's death.

But he showed no signs of rustiness on Thursday as he cruised around a rainy Wentworth in 64 shots, covering his last seven holes in six under before declaring his delight at returning to the DP World Tour. 

"It's nice to be back more than anything," said Fleetwood. "Seven weeks off feels more like two years I guess. 

"When you stand on the first tee, you don't know what to expect, no matter how well you might have been practising or playing.

"It was a lovely grouping to come back to, best friends on Tour [Justin Rose was in his group]. It's always better that I played good rather than bad, but it was just nice to be back."

Sullivan recovered with a fine bunker shot at the 18th to ensure he remained level with Fleetwood, before Hovland joined the leading duo in style with an eagle on the last, sinking a fine putt from 27 feet.

Jordan Matthew finished seven-under on a good day for the home hopefuls, with Shane Lowry, Jason Scrivener, Fabrizio Zanotti and Marcus Amitage all a shot further back.

Rory McIlroy, who became the first three-time FedEX Cup winner last month, finished four-under for the day, and told Sky Sports he could have done more.

"I thought I played okay, as you said the rain was on and off all day and that made it really tricky," he said.

"I felt four-under was pretty pedestrian, I didn't do a lot right, I didn't do a lot wrong, I definitely feel that the course is going to be very gettable for the rest of the week.

"Winning gives me motivation more than anything else, you've proven to yourself that you can win, you can beat the best players in the world. I've always got this sense of excitement after a win, and it's about resetting goals to strive for other things."

Rory McIlroy says his relationships with several former Ryder Cup team-mates have strained by their decisions to join the LIV Golf series.

Five members of Europe's team for the 2021 tournament, at which they were well beaten by the United States at Whistling Straits, have joined the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed circuit.

Four of those five – Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Bernd Wiesberger – are part of the field for this week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

The presence of LIV golfers at the DP World Tour's flagship event has been criticised by some players, with former world number one Jon Rahm and defending BMW PGA champion Billy Horschel both hitting out at their participation. 

McIlroy has been a fierce defender of the PGA Tour amid the divide with LIV Golf, and admits he has grown distant with many of his counterparts on the breakaway circuit. 

"I wouldn't say I've got much of a relationship with them at the minute," McIlroy said of his former Ryder Cup team-mates.

"But, like, I haven't done anything different. They are the ones that have made that decision. I can sit here and keep my head held high and say I haven't done anything differently."

Having declared last month that it would be "hard to stomach" LIV players joining the field at Wentworth, McIlroy was more diplomatic this time around, adding: "They are here. They are playing the golf tournament. 

"My opinion is they shouldn't be here, but again that's just my opinion.

"But we are all going to tee it up on the first tee tomorrow and we are all going to go play 72 holes, which is a novelty for them at this point, and then we'll go from there.

"If you're just talking about Ryder Cup, that's not the future of the Ryder Cup team. They've played in probably a combined 25, 30 Ryder Cups, whatever it is.

"The Hojgaards [brothers Rasmus and Nicolai], Bobby Mac [Robert MacIntyre], whoever else is coming up, they are the future of the Ryder Cup team. That's what we should be thinking about and talking about."

Meanwhile, the DP World Tour's chief executive Keith Pelley has hit out at comments from Westwood and Garcia after the two men claimed the DP World Tour is nothing more than a feeder circuit for the PGA.

Garcia, Europe's record points scorer in the Ryder Cup, recently declared the DP World Tour to be just the fifth best circuit in world golf.

"It's unbelievable," Pelley said. "Let's look at the facts. If the metric determining the top tours in the world is just money, then the number one tour is the PGA Tour, always has been. You could argue that the LIV Invitational Series is number two.

"But The Asian Tour, $22.5m; Korn Ferry Tour; $20m; Japan, $28m; Australia, $5.8m; Sunshine Tour, $7.4m. Totalling all their prize funds together comes to just half of our tour. So even if the only metric is money, how possibly could we ever become number five?

"Is this week a tournament that is on a feeder tour? A tournament that has sold-out crowds, television coverage around the world in 150 countries, five of the top 15 players in the world? A tournament with 150 accredited media?

"Our first co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour in Scotland, where 14 of the top 15 players played, would that appear on a feeder tour? I could go on and on."

Pelley also defended his decision to remain aligned with the PGA Tour, adding: "LIV Golf and the PGA Tour are involved in a power struggle for our sport.

"It is corporate America versus a sovereign state and a conflict fought out with eye-watering sums of money. I often get the question, why can't we work with both the PGA Tour and the Saudis. We tried.

"But the Saudis remain determined to set up a new series outside of the current ecosystem. That decision has created the conflict we see today, and we chose to partner with the leading tour in the game.

"Some people might not agree with that decision. But it's a decision we feel is the right thing to do for all our members."

Former world number one Jon Rahm has hit out at the prospect of LIV Golf players featuring at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth later this week.

The field for the DP World Tour event, which begins on Thursday, includes 17 players who have made an appearance on the controversial Saudi-backed circuit. 

The likes of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia are all among that group, as the bitter divide between the LIV series and the PGA and European Tours shows no sign of healing.

Quizzed on their presence at the event, former U.S. Open champion Rahm expressed his frustration at big-name LIV golfers taking the places of those who have stayed loyal to the European Tour, claiming they are only appearing to pick up world ranking points.

"What I don't understand is some players that have never shown any interest in the European Tour, that have never shown any interest in playing this event, are being given an opportunity, just because they can get world ranking points, and hopefully make majors next year," the Spaniard said.

Citing the case of close friend Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, who has missed out on the field, Rahm added: "It doesn't hurt me, but it does bug me that somebody who has played over – I looked it up – 20 DP World events this year cannot be given the opportunity to play a flagship event.

"Because some people that earned it, to an extent, are being given an opportunity when they couldn't care any less about the event.

"They don't know. They don't care. They don't know the history of this event.

"They are only here because they are trying to get world ranking points and trying to finish in the top 50, and that's clear as day."

But Rahm believes there could yet be a way back for those who have signed for the breakaway tour, adding: "There's only one problem in life that doesn't have a solution, and that's death. 

"Everything else has a solution. If the European Tour really want them to play and as a team we [Ryder Cup Europe] want them to play, I think a solution can be reached."

Defending BMW PGA Championship champion Billy Horschel was similarly scathing of the LIV rebels, declaring: "Even though Westwood and Poulter have been stalwarts for the European Tour, I don't think those guys really should be here."

Taking aim at those who have missed the event in the past, he added: "You've never played this tournament, you've never supported the DP World Tour.

"Why are you here? You are here for one reason only, and that's to try to get world ranking points because you don't have it [on the LIV Tour].

"It's hypocritical because some of these guys said they wanted to play less golf. It's pretty hypocritical to come over here and play outside LIV when your big thing was to spend more time with family and want to play less golf."

It will be "odd" and "disappointing" to see LIV Golf Invitational Series players featuring at next month's BMW PGA Championship, Matt Fitzpatrick says.

Sergio Garcia and Patrick Reed are among those who have made the switch to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf but still appear on the entry list for the tournament at Wentworth.

While the PGA Tour has banned defectors from its events, they are still allowed to participate on the DP World Tour, which lost a court case against players ahead of a full ruling.

This means vocal critics of LIV Golf, like Rory McIlroy, appearing alongside some of the controversial league's biggest names in direct competition.

U.S. Open champion Fitzpatrick will also be in action, and he will find it strange to see these players back in the field.

"It's going to be odd seeing certain people, obviously, at Wentworth," he said.

"That is going to be a bit weird, and obviously it's a little bit disappointing. But they won their little thing.

"But yeah, it's going to be interesting to see what happens. Obviously, they're [the DP World Tour] not quite in as strong a position as the PGA Tour are in terms of regulations.

"I guess we'll just have to see how it plays out."

Jon Rahm joked he has been brushing up on how things work in the courtroom by watching the hit TV show Suits as golf's civil war between the PGA Tour and LIV Series wages on.

The battle between the PGA Tour and the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Series took another twist last week when three defectors went to the courts in a bid to play in the lucrative FedExCup playoffs.

Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford had filed a restraining order to allow them to play this week's tournament, while 11 LIV Golf stars put together an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

However, a judge ruled ahead of the FedEx St. Jude Championship that LIV Golf players were not eligible to compete in the playoffs.

Former world number one Rahm conceded he had only fortuitously seen the verdict but was happy with the outcome.

"Well, I can tell you I had zero attention on it. I only found out that it was going on because I walked by a player dining and I saw about 10 really nervous people pacing all around the room," he said ahead of this weekend's BMW Championship.

"I asked and heard what was going on. I was in the room when the judge made a decision known, but only because I was walking by and they told me it was time. So, I was like, 'I'll stay'. 

"I think it could have made things a little bit awkward. They chose to leave the PGA Tour. They chose to go join another tour, knowing the consequences, and then try to come back and get courts and justice in the way. 

"It wouldn't have sat extremely well with me but, at the same time, they're adults. They're free to do as they please to an extent. And that's what they chose to do if they're allowed by a judge. I'm nobody to say otherwise. Would it have been awkward? Possibly. But, I guess we'll never know."

Rahm does not foresee this being the end of LIV players' attempts to play in PGA Tour events and offered a little insight into how he has been brushing up his knowledge on legal proceedings.

"I am confident that the LIV side of things are still going to push strong to keep trying to change some things," he added.

"But I also know that the lawyers and the PGA Tour side are going to keep fighting to keep things the way are going right now. 

"It's not the last thing we're going to hear from them. But I just started watching the show Suits. So, I'm kind of learning now about how what happens in a courtroom."

U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick also weighed in on the discussion, saying the time has come to put the focus back purely on playing golf.

"I'll be honest, I've not been asked much about it myself personally. So, it's just been it's been fine," he said.

"For me, it's just seeing it in the media and stuff. You just get fed up with talking about it.

"In my personal opinion, let's just get on with it now. We just want to play golf and concentrate on what we do. That's purely my take on that."

Tiger Woods was expected to meet a small group of leading golfers on Tuesday amid the ongoing threat posed by LIV Golf to the long-established PGA Tour.

Woods is not competing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but Stats Perform understands the 15-time major champion elected to come to Delaware to meet fellow professionals involved in the BMW Championship.

The 46-year-old is reportedly trying to garner support among PGA Tour counterparts over the battle with the breakaway series for players' allegiances.

Woods has made his feelings over the Saudi-backed LIV Golf clear, and reportedly turned down a high nine-figure fortune to join, but Open champion Cameron Smith looks to be the next big name to defect.

"I disagree with it [the players' decision to join LIV Golf]," Woods said ahead of The Open. "I think that what they've done is they've turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position."

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was set to be available at the BMW Championship to talk informally to any players who have any questions to raise, as has been the case for several months.

It is understood up to two dozen players have sought out Monahan for chats at certain events, but there have been no emergency talks.

Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau are among the high profile players who have joined LIV Golf.

Should you want proof that golf is a game for life, played in different venues and for all ages, digest what was going on in various corners of the world 15 summers ago.

In the Dallas area, an 11-year-old named Scott Scheffler was crushing the competition on the North Texas PGA Junior Tour. There were victories at Shady Valley, The Links at Water Chase, Lantana GC, and by eight strokes over Vince Whaley at Twin Creeks GC.

Down in Bayou country, another 11-year-old named Sam Burns was shooting 84 in the annual Shreveport (Louisiana) City Amateur. He finished top five.

In Scotland, an 18-year-old mop-haired kid from Northern Ireland, Rory McIlroy, was low amateur in the Open Championship at Carnoustie. Rounds of 68-76-73-72 served notice that this kid might be pretty good.

With rounds of 72-70, a 14-year-old from Kentucky named Justin Thomas finished second in his age group, third overall, at the Evian Masters Junior Cup in France. One perk for winning was that he got to play alongside Juli Inkster in a pro-am before the Evian Masters.

And on the other side of the world, in Hawaii, a 15-year-old Japanese player named Hideki Matsuyama dominated his match against Henry Park, 6 and 5, to help the visitors post a 24.5 to 19.5 win in the Hawaii/Japan Junior Cup.

Those were the stages, of course, played in the shadows. On the stage that mattered, a guy much older, the 31-year-old Tiger Woods, was collecting a fourth US PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Ho-hum as that might have been, given it was his 14th major, what surely resonated was Woods' achievement at the end of that summer. With an overwhelming performance in the inaugural FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour, Woods earned a cool $10million.

What stands out about that 2007 Tour Championship that nailed down the first FedEx Cup were the suffocating numbers. Woods won the season finale by eight strokes, it was his 61st career win and seventh of the season, and he finished the Tour Championship at 23-under 257.

"It has been a phenomenal week," Woods said, then very much at his understated best. He had, after all, also pocketed a cheque for $1.26million for winning the Tour Championship.

"I enjoyed being on a scoring streak, hitting good shot after good shot, and I felt very comfortable with my game. It felt good."

That was then and this is now, and what feels remarkable is how quickly time has passed and how surreal it is to know this: just 15 years after they were playing golf on mostly unheralded stages as kids, the 26-year-old Scheffler (he's Scottie now, unlike in 2007), Burns, 26; McIlroy, 33; Thomas, 29; and Matsuyama, 30, were numbers 1-2-3-4-5 in the FedEx Cup standings when the calendar flipped to July.

The flip side of Woods now being 46 is the fact the game is getting younger and, oh, how the current FedEx Cup standings reflect that. After Scheffler, Burns, McIlroy, Thomas, and Matsuyama, we have Patrick Cantlay, Cameron Smith, Xander Schauffele, Will Zalatoris, and Max Homa.

Average age of those 10 players: 28.5.

That is more than four years younger than the average age in 2007, the first FedEx Cup when seven of the top 10 were 31 or older. This time around, eight of the current top 10 are 30 or younger.

But if this youth parade has many marchers, the warmest spotlight must be shining on the leader, the same kid who 15 years ago was dominating the competition on the North Texas Junior PGA.

All Scheffler has done in this, his third full season on the PGA Tour, is win four times and roar into the penthouse of the Official World Golf Rankings.

Not bad, this number one designation. But some might argue that Burns is number 1A, because all he has done is win three times before, and if you go back to the middle of the 2020-21 season, Burns secured victories in four of his last 29 tournaments.

The screeching noise you heard is the arrival of the Scheffler-Burns express; they are two young men who are great friends and as if to punctuate their new-found grip on the PGA Tour, they had an exclamation point of a Sunday back in May.

Locked in a play-off at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Burns poured in a long-range birdie on the first extra hole to beat his Texas friend.

Even Scheffler flashed a wide smile that day, nodding his approval to Burns, knowing there will be many more opportunities to return the favour. Perhaps even as soon as the upcoming FedEx Cup play-offs. These are the dates that matter: August 11-14 at the FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis; August 18-21 at the BMW Championship in Wilmington, Delaware; and August 25-28 at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.

They are tournaments that showcase the best of the elite, and whereas you might have understandably expected them to put Scheffler in awe as a 24-year-old rookie in August of 2020, it didn't work out that way. In his second round in the play-offs, Scheffler shot 59 at TPC Boston.

He didn't win that week, but a tie for fourth set in motion a nice play-off run – tied 20th at the BMW, fifth at the Tour Championship. The three who finished immediately ahead of him in the FedEx Cup standings in 2020 – Schauffele, Thomas and Jon Rahm – are key contenders for the 2021-22 FedEx Cup as a dynamic era of young and talented performers continues into the 16th edition of this season-long race.

It is amazing, the furious speed with which these kids have progressed from junior golf to the spotlight of a FedEx Cup. Then again, perhaps there are those who saw this coming. Joel Edwards, for instance.

A veteran PGA Tour performer, Edwards was in the twilight of his career when he used to practise at Royal Oaks at Dallas where Scheffler was the brightest of a stable of talented junior players.

Precocious and supremely talented, Scheffler would challenge Edwards and another PGA Tour veteran, Harrison Frazar, to random contests. Frazar confirms he lost sleeves of golf balls to a fourth-grader; Edwards concedes that "he cost me a fortune; I used to carry a bunch of quarters because I knew I'd get my butt beat [in a bid to hit practice-range poles with wedge shots]."

And if there was one thing that stood out about Scheffler back then, even beyond his uncanny golf skills, it was his appearance.

"He always wore pants. He looked like a Tour player at 10," said Edwards.

And at 11, while mowing down the local competition, perhaps Scheffler knew this brand-new FedEx Cup was someday going to be in his future.

Bernd Wiesberger and Lee Westwood secured their places in Europe's Ryder Cup team as Billy Horschel prevailed on a dramatic final day of the BMW PGA Championship. 

Four automatic places were there for the taking at Wentworth. Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick were already all but assured of their spots at Whistling Straits, with Wiesberger, Westwood, Shane Lowry and Justin Rose fighting to book their tickets. 

Lowry and Rose entered the final 18 holes with work to do and both ended up falling short. Rose's seven-under 65, which saw him finish three strokes behind Horschel on 16 under, was not enough to get him on either the European or World points lists. 

Irishman Lowry needed to finish in the top eight to qualify but endured a disappointing final day, a one-under 71 seeing him go 12 under for the tournament and leaving the 2019 Open champion down in tied 17th. 

Wiesberger carded a level-par 72 as he closed on 11 under, that score sufficient to dislodge Rory McIlroy from the European points list. 

Meanwhile, Westwood is set to equal Nick Faldo's record for Ryder Cup appearances by playing for Europe for the 11th time. 

Like McIlroy, Westwood qualifies via the World points list despite a five-over 77 that left him down in a four-way tie for 71st. 

At the sharp end of the leaderboard, it was Horschel who emerged from a tightly packed field thanks to his final-round 65. 

He was tied with Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Jamie Donaldson and Laurie Carter on 18 under, but a tremendous approach over the water at the last gave Horschel a simple putt for birdie. 

Carter was unable to replicate Horschel's feat, giving the American his second European Tour title of the year and his first triumph in a Rolex Series event. 

Francesco Laporta heads into the final round at the BMW PGA Championship with a one-shot advantage after a solid effort on Saturday.

The Italian may not have carded one of the day's most impressive scores, with three players managing to go round in 66, but his three-under 69 was enough to put him top after starting the day third.

Laporta carded an eagle on the five-par fourth as the world number 264 made the turn in 34, before producing a composed back nine to climb to the summit.

A couple of birdies and seven pars put him a shot ahead of Canter and helped capitalise on the struggles of overnight leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

His scores of 64 and 68 were followed up by an untidy 74 on Saturday, seeing the Thai drop to 10 under for the tournament, four adrift of Laporta.

The leader was understandably delighted with his day's work, though he accepts he may have to be better with the putter if he is to bring the trophy home.

"It was a great day for me, I hit the ball pretty solid. I missed some putts on last four holes, but I'm pretty happy with my game," he said. "The best thing I did today was to focus shot by shot.

"I just have to try do better tomorrow [with the putting]. I was feeling okay, not so under pressure, but tomorrow will be different."

Laurie Canter held a share of the lead with Laporta at the eighth after sinking a brilliant 20-foot putt for a birdie and then drew level again at the 12th, but ultimately ended the day a shot behind in second.

Four players are a further shot back and then another three head into the final day on 11 under for the tournament.

Two of them are Shane Lowry and Bernd Wiesberger – the latter just needs to finish in the top 50 to secure a spot in the Europe's Ryder Cup team, while the former is just behind Lee Westwood for the final automatic berth in Padraig Harrington's team.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat holds a one-shot lead over Laurie Canter after the second round of the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Aphibarnrat shared the overnight lead with Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who went round in level par on Friday, but a four-under 68 moved him into top spot as the Thai sits on 12 under.

Canter, who has only seven European Tour top-10 finishes since 2010, was joint-fourth after Thursday's play but a second-round 66 placed him one stroke shy of Aphibarnrat.

Returning to the European Tour's flagship event for the first time since 2006, Adam Scott sits in third place after recovering from a double-bogey six on the third to reach 10 under.

Scott's playing partner Justin Rose, who knows victory at Wentworth will guarantee an outright spot in Padraig Harrington's Ryder Cup team, joined Jamie Donaldson and Billy Horschel in a share of fourth after carding 68, which put him on nine under overall.

Ryder Cup hopeful Shane Lowry finds himself embroiled in numerous qualification scenarios with Bernd Wiesberger, who closed on six under, and is now four shots back from the lead after producing a six-under 66.

The Irishman is part of a seven-man group in a tie for seventh and the 2019 Open Champion feels he is thriving under the pressure of securing a spot at Whistling Straits on September 24.

"Coming here with a little bit of pressure on me needing to perform and play well and I've done that the first two days," he said. "I'm pretty happy to be honest.

"Obviously I want to make the [Ryder Cup] team automatically. I think I've played some really good golf over the last few months to put my hat in for a pick on Sunday evening if I do need one.

"I'm here to win the golf tournament."

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