Following on from his stunning victory in the WGC – CA Championship at Doral last weekend, which put him at the top of the European Tour’s all-time career money list, Ernie Els has confirmed his entry for this year’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club on May 20-23.
It will be Ernie’s first tournament appearance in the UK in 2010 and it is entirely fitting that it should be at Wentworth where Ernie has for the last four years overseen the spectacular modernization and refinement of the iconic West Course. The course has been closed for the last 10 months while new greens and greens’ complexes were built to USGA specification.
Many holes have been subjected to changes, most significantly the par-4 8th and the par-5 18th, to ensure that each has its own strong and distinct strategic value. This final phase of works also incorporated a complete review of the bunkering on the golf course. Members of the Ernie Els Design team were on site throughout.
“I’m really excited about returning to Wentworth and playing the new-look West Course,” says Ernie.
“Obviously I’ve been back to the Club quite a few times while the renovation work was taking place, most recently in December, so I know how fantastic the golf course looks.
“The quality of the workmanship is as good as you’ll see anywhere in the world and I’m expecting the new greens to be a dream to putt on. Playing it in tournament conditions is going to be very special.”
Ernie still has a house on the Wentworth estate, so in his eyes any tournament played there is very much a ‘home game’. He has won the World Matchplay Championship on the West Course a record seven times.
“Everyone knows how special Wentworth is to me,” commented Ernie, “so of course it was an honour to be given the responsibility of renovating this classic course and bringing it into the 21st century.”