It has been suggested that Sweden’s Alex Noren, the newly-crowned winner of the BMW PGA Championship, is one of the most underrated golfers in the sport, but I hold him in the highest possible regard.
In fact, I have only ever heard him receive compliments. He only just missed out on Ryder Cup selection last year and victory at Wentworth on Sunday was the 34-year-old’s ninth European Tour victory.
I’m a big Noren fan. He has a very good repeating swing and is one of the hardest workers on tour – he’s never off the range.
His 10-under-par final round of 62 to win the BMW PGA Championship, a course record, was just magnificent. Starting the day seven shots off the pace, he began well and kept the momentum going.
The long iron to four feet behind the hole on his way to an eagle on the 18th was just stunning. Noren also hit eight birdies as he finished 11 under par, two shots clear of Italy’s Francesco Molinari.
It was a round which fired Noren to a career-high eighth in the world rankings and secured him his fifth win in 22 starts, a period during which nobody has lifted more silverware on the man circuits, not even world No1 Dustin Johnson.
The next step, of course, is winning a Major. Noren’s best result at a Major to date is a tied ninth finish at the 2012 Open Championship. I believe he possesses the ability and industry to achieve that goal and he will take a huge amount of confidence from Sunday.
His triumph at Wentworth, however, was a different type of victory. He was in the clubhouse for more than two and a half hours waiting for the third-round leaders to finish so it wasn’t as though he was one behind with two to play and made two birdies.
Nevertheless, it was his biggest win so far and he’ll fancy his chances at the US Open next month.
I would also like to say well done to Kevin Kisner after winning the Dean & Deluca Invitational. He finished one shot clear of a group containing Spain’s Jon Rahm, who could have won by three or four strokes but just couldn’t find the hole. But all credit to Kisner. It was his second PGA Tour title to go with six runners-up placings. Sometimes the second crown is harder to secure than the first.
Special mention must also go to Bernhard Langer, who sealed a record ninth senior Major with victory at the Senior PGA Championship in Washington DC. He also became the first man to win all five senior Majors. Bernhard is an extraordinary human being.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam