Fantasy Golf: BMW PGA Championship preview

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The Today’s Golfer Fantasy Golf game, in association with Your Golf Travel, switches to the European Tour this week for the circuit's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship.

The West course at Wentworth Golf Club was redesigned in 2010 by Ernie Els and received mixed reviews from the players. Consequently, there has been some additional changes made for this year’s tournament.

The 12th hole has been lengthened slightly and returns to being a par five. The entrance to the long par-four 15th hole has been widened but the bunker on the front-right has been enlarged and deepened.

The rough to the right of the par-five 17th green has been grown to make the slope less severe while on the dramatic finishing hole, the bunker on the right side from the tee has been removed and so have the tops of the trees on that side to allow the longer players to cut the corner.

The tournament hosts the strongest field on the European Tour outside the majors with the top-three ranked players in the world all competing for the hefty prize money and Ryder Cup points on offer.

The tree-lined course is relatively long but places more of a premium on accuracy from the tee to avoid the penal fairway traps and solid ball-striking to hold the firm and fast greens.

Here is the six-man Today’s Golfer team for the BMW PGA Championship:

Luke Donald, $5.5m
The World No.2 and defending champion loves the course (he finished tied-second in 2010) and has four top-six finishes in his last six starts, including a win at the Transitions Championship and a final-round 66 at the Players Championship two weeks ago.

Martin Laird, $2.2m
The Scot finished tied for second at the Players Championship two weeks ago and will be looking to pick up a substantial number of Ryder Cup points this week to make his case for Olazabal’s team.

Paul Lawrie, $1.3m
Playing the best golf of his career since his 1999 Open Championship win at Carnoustie, Lawrie reached the semi-finals of last week’s Volvo World Matchplay and finished sixth at Wentworth two years ago.

Justin Rose, $2.8m
Rose loves Wentworth and has five top tens in his last eight starts, including a win at the WGC Cadillac Championship. Needed just 26 holes to dispose of Robert Rock and Darren Clarke at the Volvo World Matchplay last week before losing to eventual winner Nicolas Colsaerts in the first knockout round.

Branden Grace, $1.2m
2012 has been a dream year for the Challenge Tour graduate, winning three times in his rookie season, the last of which was just over a month ago and he’s had two top-17 finishes and no missed cuts since. In fact, he’s only missed three cuts all year.

Matteo Manassero, $2
The young Italian has four top-tens in his last five starts, finished tied-seventh here last year and has the extra incentive of needing some extra world ranking points to qualify for next month’s US Open at the Olympic Club before the June 11 cut-off point.

>>> You can see a full list of all the golfers playing this week and their prices by clicking here. You have until 7am on Thursday 24th May to select your team.