The ‘flagship tournament’ on historic Wentworth
BMW PGA Championship, May 24-27
The European Tour is heading for Wentworth (England) for what is generally seen as its ‘Flagship Tournament’. It is the BMW PGA Championship, a grand event with a € 4,5 million prize money purse, that was previously won by European greats like Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie.
At the majestic Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, Luke Donald will defend his BMW PGA Championship
title that he won last year and that brought him at the top of the list of the Official World Golf Ranking of 2011. The finish on the final day was a memorable one, with Donald beating Lee Westwood in a play-off. For the Englishman, it was his second of three titles on his way to the to season-ending Race to Dubai glory.
This week, golf fans can expect all major players of the tour to be present, because this is a tournament that everyone would like to win at least once in his career. Wentworth
is special, boasting a rich tournament history. The club hosted the 1953 Ryder Cup and then in 1956 the Canada Cup, the forerunner to today’s World Cup of Golf. Wentworth is also known for hosting two of golf’s most prestigious championships – the World Matchplay between 1964 and 2007, and the BMW PGA Championship since 1984.
Golf fans, experts, commentators and players agree on the unrivalled beauty and playing characteristics of this West Course. It is a glorious natural setting for golf: a stretch of heathland surrounded by woodland of pine, oak and birch and with rhododendrons adding a splash of colour. A great setting for architect Harry Colt to create a golf course in 1922. In 2005 the course was updated, involving the construction of 18 new greens and greens' complexes; all greenside and fairway bunkers were also reviewed, remodelled and – in some cases – moved.
West Course ‘new style’
The investment has definitely paid off. The most interesting hole of West Course ‘new style’ is the par 5 hole 18, as the local pros agree. “A majestic par five to finish. A long sweeping dog-leg right demands an accurate tee shot between the fairway bunkers. The smallest green on the course will require a high, soft landing shot to fly the brook and hold the green.” As one commentator puts it, hinting to the bunkers and the green that is sloping to two sides: “Crossing the water just in front of the green is the least of your concerns.” Hole 18 will undoubtedly provide a stunning finish to the championship on the final day.
Our advice to all fans: it is not only the course and the atmosphere at Wentworth that is great. Don’t miss the club website. View the brilliant, course fly-over
of the West Course at the site; it will give you an inspiring tour (with great comments) of all the difficulties that the players will be facing on the BMW PGA Championship!
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