Sun Sentinel
European Golf Tour
Khan stuns the field for BMW title



Surrey, England (Sports Network) - Simon Khan fired a five-under 66 on Sunday to overcome a seven-stroke deficit and win the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club.

Khan finished at six-under 278 and won by a stroke over Luke Donald (71) and recent Italian Open champion Fredrik Andersson Hed (71).

This was Khan's second European Tour title after he won the 2004 Celtic Manor Wales Open. While that victory was impressive, this is the flagship event on the European Tour and it carried the biggest purse of the season outside the majors, the World Golf Championships events and the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

With the first-place check of almost 750,000 euros, Khan moved from 153rd in the Race to Dubai at the start of the final round, to seventh.

"It just means everything, today, this week," said Khan, who became the first sponsor's invite to win this title. "This tournament is the reason I started playing golf, and just to be here was unbelievable."

Khan rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-five closing hole to get into the clubhouse at six-under par. He was tied for the lead with Donald, but Donald had two par fives to play.

Most players take advantage of the par fives, but Donald hit a terrible drive right at the 17th. He made a mess of the hole, walked off with a double-bogey and fell two behind Khan, who was on the range hitting balls in anticipation of a possible playoff.

Donald needed an eagle at the par-five closing hole to force a sudden-death playoff. His drive at the 18th landed in the left rough and he was forced to lay up with his second.

Donald had to hole out and he took dead aim at the flag. His ball landed inches short of the cup, but spun back to four feet. After Donald's third stayed above ground, the title was Khan's.

"Today was quite surreal," said Khan. "It's just an amazing feeling."

Khan was not only a sponsor's exemption, but he was only notified on Monday that he would be in the field. He won last year's Qualifying School and with the victory on Sunday, he won't have to worry about a return to that tournament for some time.

Sunday's win carried a five-year exemption on the European Tour for Khan.

Stephen Gallacher shot a one-under 70 on Sunday and took fourth at minus-four. Danny Willett carded a three-over 74 and fell into fifth place at three-under 281.

Khan played steady golf early and chipped away at the huge deficit in front of him. He birdied the second, fourth and sixth holes to move his name up the leaderboard, but birdies at 10 and 13 suddenly moved him into first.

While most players moved down the leaderboard on Sunday, Khan rose. He fell into a tie for first with Donald after a bogey at No. 16, but his gutsy birdie at the last, coupled with Donald's disaster at 17 gave Khan the largest final- round comeback in tournament history.

"I honestly thought I was a bit too far back," admitted Khan, who was the runner-up at this championship four years ago. "I thought, you never know around here with the difficulty of the course and some of the pins, there can be big swings in scores."

Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington (72), James Kingston (72), 1999 British Open winner Paul Lawrie (71) and third-round leader Chris Wood (77) shared sixth place at minus-two.

Lee Westwood, the third-ranked player in the world, had a five-under 66 on Sunday and snuck into a tie for 10th place with Ross Fisher and Justin Rose, who both had 70s in the final round. The trio finished at one-under 283.

NOTES: This win also gave a Khan a three-year exemption into the British Open Championship...Robert Karlsson set the course record on Saturday with a nine- under 62 to get into second place, but struggled to a six-over 77 on Sunday and shared 13th at even-par...Last year's winner Paul Casey shot a four-over 75 and tied for 17th at plus-one...Next week is the Madrid Masters, which was won by Ross McGowan last year.

05/23 14:36:43 ET