Beyond the jubilant Shane Lowry, the next happiest golfer after an extraordinary BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth must be Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald.

Lowry, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm were the top three at Wentworth in a thrilling first qualifying event for next year’s match in Rome. They are undoubtedly among the leading names on Donald’s wish-list in his quest to regain the trophy.

Lowry showed his passion for the match against the United States on his debut at Whistling Straits last year and despite Europe’s 19-9 mauling, the 2019 Open winner described his time in Wisconsin as “the week of my life”.

The 35-year-old Irishman is hellbent on being in Donald’s team in 12 months and has banked maximum points at the first opportunity on what will no doubt prove a long qualifying process.

McIlroy and Rahm are Europe’s superstars, around whom the line-up will be fashioned. Lowry also craves being a key component and the 8,000 DP World Tour points he has earned feel every bit as valuable as his £1.16m winner’s cheque.

“There is no doubt I want to be front and centre on that team,” the Clara native told BBC Sport. “I want to be going to Rome and help the team out and win the Ryder Cup back and this is a great start to the qualification process.”

His bogey-free victory, in an event shortened to 54 holes after Friday’s play was cancelled as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, was due reward for what has been an excellent season.

Indeed, Lowry – back up to 19 in the world – rates it better than his campaign three years ago when he landed victory in Abu Dhabi before surging to that unforgettable Open triumph at Royal Portrush.

“I feel like this has been one of the best seasons of my career,” Lowry stated after posting his first win since his epic victory in Northern Ireland. It was a fourth top-three finish, including a share of third at April’s Masters.

“I did win twice and one of them was the Open in 2019, but consistency wise I feel like this has been the best season of my career. The golf I played this season tops everything else and I feel like this is the icing on the cake for the whole season.”

An outspoken critic of the breakaway LIV Tour, Lowry was keen to overhaul the likes of Patrick Reed and Lee Westwood who surged up the leaderboard before the Irishman teed off.

“Yes this is a win for me and my family and my team but I feel like this is a win for the European tour and European tour golf,” Lowry smiled.

“And it is good that one us managed to win. There were a few lads making a charge before I went out and I was definitely motivated to go out and top that.”

His comments reflect an undoubted edge that prevails on tour at the moment. There is continuing resentment that LIV players are able to take spots from tour loyalists in events such as last week’s tournament on the West Course.

This was further intensified by Sergio Garcia’s shameful withdrawal after a first-round 76. The Spanish LIV recruit is Europe’s leading points scorer in the Ryder Cup and was once the heartbeat of golf in the continent.

Not any more.

This was the latest indiscretion on a lengthening rap sheet that includes destroying tee markers, jettisoning a shoe into the crowd, spitting in a hole and scuffing greens (ironically in Saudi Arabia) among several other moments of petulance.

Garcia began last week by telling us he was at Wentworth because he wanted to support the European Tour. Long before the tournament was over he was back in Texas posing on social media supporting a college football team.

Garcia gave no reason for departing the Surrey course. This after a blazing row in Munich earlier in the season when he told fellow pros that the DP World Tour is destined to become only the fifth best circuit in world golf.

His reputation among his peers and European golf fans has hit at an all-time low.

But, it should be noted, the presence at Wentworth of 16 other golfers who have competed on the Saudi Arabia funded LIV Tour, strangely added to the spectacle.

Lowry was not alone in being motivated to deny a LIV victory but there was little discernible hostility, if any, from the galleries for enduringly popular figures such as Westwood and Ian Poulter.

Reed conducted himself immaculately and his closing 63 reminded us that he remains a terrific player. The 2018 Masters winner, along with fellow American Talor Gooch, picked up valuable world ranking points.

This is a currency unavailable on the cash-laden LIV setup. Gooch, who was fourth, is back up to 35th in the world, Reed – who shared fifth place – remains 50th.

In normal times DP World Tour bosses would be thrilled to have both players at their tournaments. But the main circuits are determined to shut doors on players they regard as rebels.

The LIV bandwagon now rolls into Chicago for the fifth of eight invitational tournaments in its debut year while the European tour heads to the Italian Open at the Marco Simone club near Rome.

Now second in the world, McIlroy leads a field that also includes US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton, all members of the last European Ryder Cup team.

The tournament is worth a relatively paltry €3m (£2.6m), roughly an eighth of the financial spoils at the appropriately named Rich Harvest Farms for this week’s LIV tournament. But for the European loyalists, to who the Ryder Cup still means so much, it is a big opportunity to familiarise themselves with the venue that stages the next match.

Europe’s attempt to wrestle back the precious trophy will be one of those increasingly rare occasions in golf when money is not a factor. It is also one of great value to those taking part and watching fans all over the world.

No wonder Lowry is thrilled to have made the perfect start on his quest to be part of it.