The European Tour returns home this week for the 61st staging of its flagship event – the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club.
Many of the biggest names in the game, including World no.1 and defending champion Rory McIlroy, are preparing to contest a record €5m prize fund and the right to be acclaimed the latest BMW PGA victor.
The field exudes class and quality, from defending champion and global ‘poster boy’ McIlroy, to rising American star Brooks Koepka, who cut his professional teeth on the Challenge and European Tours.
In all, nine major champions with no fewer than 18 Majors between them will be battling it out and memories of last year’s spectacular Ryder Cup at Gleneagles should come flooding back at the sight of McIlroy, Thomas Bjørn, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher.
McIlroy, Rose, Kaymer and McDowell can all lay claim to the US Open title between 2010 and 2014. Paul Lawrie, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke preceded McIlroy as proud holders of the Claret Jug; Ernie Els has four Major titles to his name and Y E Yang one.
Also, Luke Donald, a back–to-back winner of the title in 2011 and 2012, returns in search of a third BMW PGA Championship, while long-time Wentworth exponents, Els and Westwood, will be chasing that elusive first win.
Two Ryder Cup captains are in attendance – Paul McGinley, who marshalled his troops with a brilliant strategist’s mind at Gleneagles – and 2011 Open Champion Clarke, who picks up the baton to take to Hazeltine National in 20 months’ time.
Tickets for tomorrow’s (Wed) star and celeb-studded Pro-Am all four days of the Championship from May 21-24 will be available on the gate. Children under the age of 16 are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult ticket holder.
A host of golfing celebs from the world of sport and entertainment will be in Pro-Am action with Ant & Dec, One Direction’s golf-mad Niall Horan, controversial cricketer Kevin Pietersen, ex-soccer stars Alan Shearer and Jamie Redknapp and tennis ace Tim Henman among them.