The European Tour’s flagship event returns to Surrey this week with a number of world-class players teeing it up at the famous Wentworth Club, including a strong British contingent.
2016 Masters champion Danny Willett is trying to become the first player since Luke Donald in 2012 to successfully defend the title, having birdied the final two holes last year to secure a three-stroke triumph.
The Yorkshireman, who won the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in 2018, will be joined at the Surrey course by Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Justin Rose.
Fleetwood won the HNA Open de France in 2017, before adding a second at last year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge and will come here full of confidence despite losing in a play-off to Aaron Rai at the Scottish Open on Sunday.
However, he’s competed at this tournament every year since 2012 and has just one top-ten finish to show for it.
28-year-old Tyrell Hatton already has one victory to his name in 2020 having claimed a maiden PGA Tour title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and is enjoying a sensational run of form.
He took the 2017 Italian Open title after a dramatic birdie on the final hole to make it back-to-back European Tour wins just two weeks after claiming the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Hatton picked up his second Rolex Series title at the 2019 Turkish Airlines Open after emerging victorious from a six-man play-off.
Fellow countryman and five-time European Tour winner, Matthew Fitzpatrick, is yet to win a Rolex Series title but did win the DP World Tour Championship in 2016 and finished in a share of second at the Abu Dhabi Championship in January behind Lee Westwood.
Having won the Turkish Airlines Open in 2017 and 2018 – as well as reaching the top of the world rankings – Justin Rose has endured a miserable year and is now outside the top 20 as he looks to claim his first-ever BMW PGA title.
The former US Open winner has come close twice before though, back in 2007 he was beaten in a play-off by Anders Hansen and in 2012 he entered the final day two shots behind Luke Donald but fell short.
Another Englishman, Lee Westwood, claimed the World Match Play Championship here in 2000 and will be looking to add this title to his 25 European Tour victories – including two Rolex Series triumphs.
The 47-year-old claimed his first European Tour win in four years when he won the 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge before earlier this year claiming the Abu Dhabi Championship.
Meanwhile, Ian Poulter has 12 European Tour victories to his name but is yet to win on English soil. He’s made the cut in five of his past six appearances at Wentworth, with his best result coming in 2012, when he finished in a share of 10th and comes here on the back of a decent showing at the Scottish Open
Also impressive last week was England’s Robert Rock who missed out on a play-off by one shot and has made the cut in seven of his last nine events, including a T-4 at the British Masters.
Of the international challengers, Patrick Reed returns to competition following his disappointing weekend showing at Winged Foot despite looking like he could mount a challenge going into the final day.
Former two-time major winner Martin Kaymer will be making his 13th consecutive appearance at the BMW PGA Championship and is full of confidence after rediscovering his very best form in recent weeks.
24-year-old Australian Lucas Herbert held the 36-hole lead at last week’s Scottish Open after rounds of 66 and 65 but a brutal round of 79 on Saturday saw him tumble down the board only to rebound with a 65 to finish T-4th.
Click here for the latest golf odds
Leave a comment
Follow Matthewjcrist on Twitter