Peter Alliss has spoken of his delight at how the BMW Championship has blossomed since his surprise 1957 win.
“I remember it all very well,” said the veteran broadcaster. “1957 was the year I won my first of three. I had started as a joint-professional at the Parkson Golf Club with my brother on April 1st 1957. On the Monday I went to my club and helped him unload a few things for the shop and then the next day I went up to Llandudno, where the championship was being held that week, and I won it!
“So my first year as a pro there I went home as a PGA Champion, it was wonderful! To see what the tournament has become, it’s brilliant.”
Peter Alliss spoke ahead of the 60th edition of the BMW PGA Championship, where there was a special anniversary photo-call at Wentworth Club as six decades of PGA Champions met six decades of iconic BMW’s.
Joining Peter Alliss were fellow PGA champions Bernard Gallacher, winner in 1969, Neil Coles, who won in 1976, and Paul Way, the 1985 champion. José María Olazábal and David Howell, the winners in 1994 and 2006 were in attendance, and Luke Donald, winner in 2011 and 2012 met with defending champion Matteo Manassero to complete the group.
"I felt similar emotions winning this championship as to when I won the Green Jacket." - Jose Maria Olazabal
“It was fantastic,” Olazábal remembered. “That was the year I had won the Masters just a short while before we came here and for me I felt similar emotions winning this championship as to when I won the Green Jacket because it’s our flagship event. To have won it makes me very proud.
Bernard Gallacher echoed the Spaniard’s comments, saying: “It was the first I ever won so that makes it hugely important. That always stays with you, it’s on your CV, but when you compare it to what it has grown into today with Wentworth, the course, the prize fund, the huge crowds – it’s a truly massive event now.
“But I look back very fondly on my victory and we are still celebrating it today, here we are!”
BBC coverage with Peter Alliss
The BBC is showing highlights of the BMW Championship on BBC 2, Saturday, Sunday and Monday between 18:00 and 19:00, with Peter Alliss on the mic.