Your 60-second guide to the BMW PGA Championship


BMW PGA Championship

Venue: West Course, Wentworth

Course length: 7,284

Par: 72

Defending champion: Alex Noren

Format: 72 holes strokeplay

Prize fund: $7m

Winner’s share: $1.04m

Other past champs

• Chris Wood, 2016
• Byeong Hun An, 2015
• Rory McIlroy, 2014
• Matteo Manassero, 2013
• Luke Donald, 2012

Highest-ranked players in the field

• #7 – Rory McIlroy
• #12 – Tommy Fleetwood
• #13 – Paul Casey
• #17 – Alex Noren
• #20 – Tyrrell Hatton
• #25 – Rafa Cabrera-Bello
• #26 – Ian Poulter
• #31 – Francesco Molinari
• #32 – Kiradech Aphibarnrat
• #35 – Branden Grace

Rory Mc Ilroy

The favourite

Rory McIlroy. Making his first start on European soil since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October, the 29-year-old has failed to fire on all cylinders since the Masters with a T16 finish at the Wells Fargo Championship and missed cut at The Players. However, he arrives at Wentworth as a past champion, having edged out Shane Lowry for a one-shot victory in 2014.

The form horse

Ian Poulter. After his exploits of the past two months, it’s hard to believe that just a year ago Poulter was on the verge of losing his PGA Tour card. He arrives at Wentworth off the back of a win, T7 and T11 in his last five starts. He does have an awful record though, with just one top ten in 14 starts in this event.

The outsider

Lee Westwood. Yes, we are at the stage when the Englishman is called an ‘outsider’ for an event. He’s priced at 66/1 and, although he’s played in very few events this year, that’s pretty high. Especially when you look at his Wentworth record, where he has finished in the top 15 in five out of the last eight years.

Top 5 with Ladbrokes

• Rory McIlroy – 8/1
• Paul Casey – 14/1
• Branden Grace – 14/1
• Tommy Fleetwood – 14/1
• Alex Noren – 14/1

Lee Westwood

Talking point

Ryder Cup points. As of this week, all Ryder Cup points earned by players are multiplied by 1.5. So this, combined with the $7m prize fund from it being the first Rolex Series event of the season, is the time when big moves will start to be made.

Any other business

Lee Westwood is making his first start since falling out of the world top 100 earlier this month. Now No.117, the last time the 45-year-old was ranked as low was September 2003 – testament to his incredible consistency over the years.


Matteo Manassero is still only 25. Five years ago, he clinched his fourth European Tour title at Wentworth. But that was also his most recent title and his exemption from that win runs out at the end of this season. Currently, he’s 87th in the Race to Dubai – so a big week here would be most welcome.


There are no fewer than seven major champions in the field this week: Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, Darren Clarke, Martin Kaymer, Danny Willett and Trevor Immelman.

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