McIlroy fires warning to US Ryder Cup team after Europe’s strong BMW PGA showing

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Rory McIlory believes that Team Europe is shaping up well for this month’s Ryder Cup in Rome, after seven of Luke Donald’s side finished in the top 10 at the BMW PGA Championship.

A birdie on the 18th hole handed New Zealander Ryan Fox the title at Wentworth, but Tyrrell Hatton finished joint-second with his Ryder Cup teammates Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood finishing four, fifth and sixth.

McIlroy finished seventh, five shots adrift of winner Fox, whilst Ryder Cup rookies Sepp Strakka and Ludvig Aberg finished tied for tenth.

“It’s awesome. We’re in a good spot,” McIlroy told BBC Sport. “We had a really good day in Rome on Monday, the team’s been shaping up really well for the last couple of months, everyone’s been in pretty good form.

“It’s still almost two weeks away until the first ball is hit on the Friday morning but I’m sure you’ll ask all the boys that are coming in here they are all just so excited to get to Rome and get going.”

McIlroy needed a birdie on the 18th in his second round to make the cut, which he delivered in near-total darkness following a weather delay. But he produced a 67 on Saturday and despite starting the final round 10 shots behind, that deficit had been close to just two by the time he reached the 16th hole.

However, the Northern Irishman who won this tournament in 2014, was unable to birdie either of the final two par 5 holes and had to settle for seventh position.

Speaking after his final round, McIlroy said: “It’s not disappointment that I haven’t won, I’m more disappointed that I couldn’t take advantage of the positions I put myself in on 17 and 18.

“There’s a couple of things to work on and to try and iron a couple of the misses out of my game.

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“I’m getting a little quick in transition with some iron shots and leaving some out to the right but apart from that I feel like everything is in pretty good shape.”

The four-time Major champion took a break from his Ryder Cup preparations to head on a friend’s stag do in Mykonos on Monday, but after promising captain Luke Donald that he will take it easy on the Greek island, will be reunited with his European teammates in Rome next weekend ahead of one of the biggest events in all of golf.

The 44th Ryder Cup gets underway at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club on Friday, September 29. The USA are the defending champions having achieved a record 19-9 win at Whilsting Straits two years ago.

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