Losing to Shane Lowry in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth made the defeat a little easier to take for Rory McIlroy.
On the 18th hole of Sunday's final round, McIlroy saw an eagle putt come agonisingly close to dropping. Had it done so, there would have been a playoff for the $1.36 million first prize. The result was the reverse of the 2014 tournament which saw McIlroy edge out Lowry.
"I think Shane winning softens the blow," said McIlroy.
"If it had've been someone else, I might not have felt as comfortable with it as I am. Seeing a friend win is always great and I'm really happy for him.
"He's played a lot of great golf this year. I think back to he had a chance at the Honda, got screwed with that big downpour on 17 and 18. Hilton Head as well, playing in the final group with Harold Varner. He's had a lot of chances to win this year and hasn't quite got over the line.
"I'm really happy for him. He's played a lot of good golf and he deserves this one. I wish I would have made him play a couple extra holes maybe to get the trophy but incredibly happy for Shane and hopefully we'll have a couple drinks tonight."
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) September 11, 2022
McIlroy continued: "I know [Shane Lowry has] always played well here and this is a tournament he would love to win and obviously he did today.
"Yeah, look, I think he was having a sneakily good year and even though the results mightn't have suggested it, but playing at home with him, seeing him out playing and getting himself into contention, I think it's as consistent as Shane has played his entire career which obviously bodes well for him for the future for Ryder Cup next year and beyond.
"My game is in good shape and I feel like everything feels simple. I'm playing within myself and I know my patterns. As long as I can sort of manage my patterns well and sort of play conservative when I'm not totally comfortable with a shot and play more aggressive when I am feeling it.
"You know, hitting two shots like that into the last when you need to, that gives you a lot of confidence as well. That 3-iron I hit was one of the best shots I hit all week and to do it in that situation was really pleasing."
Shane Lowry 🤝 Rory McIlroypic.twitter.com/JXMWFgsS1A
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) September 11, 2022