5 Players to Watch at Wentworth
The BMW PGA Championship has long been established as the flagship event on the European Tour, hosted at the iconic Wentworth and consistently drawing a richly international field. Due to the major changes on the calendar, the tournament has been shifted from its traditional May date to September, but that has only proven beneficial to British golf fans, who will see the strongest gathering of the game's best that has been assembled for many a year.
Defending his title, Francesco Molinari headlines the field alongside world number two Rory McIlroy, with European stars Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, and Open champion Shane Lowry competing. Americans Tony Finau and Patrick Reed are here, while the impressive cohort of UK golfers under 30 includes Matt Wallace, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Robert MacIntyre and Eddie Pepperell.
But who is going to add their name to the prestigious list of winners at Wentworth? Here are five to watch out for this week.
Champion of the BMW PGA in 2014, the Northern Irishman lost to Molinari last May, but comes to Surrey in the aftermath of winning the FedEx Cup and recording a near-miss at the Omega European Masters. Rory is determined to regain the world number one position from the formidable grasp of Brooks Koepka, and victory here would go a long way to fulfilling his goal of officially being the best again.
You have to go back a decade to when the experienced Englishman won at Wentworth, but he returns in fine form, securing the title at the recent Porsche European Open. With the qualifying period for the 2020 Ryder Cup beginning this week - and concluding 12 months from now - the 42-year-old will be seeking a fast start having so enjoyed his experience at Le Golf National last year.
Leading amateur at both the Masters and U.S. Open, the Norwegian has turned professional and won his card for the PGA Tour, but makes a welcome appearance in Europe. Turning 22 this week, this emerging star posted a top ten finish in his most recent event in America and will be determined to showcase his major potential on this side of the Atlantic.
It's been a quiet period for the Irishman since his remarkable triumph at Royal Portrush in the summer, but the BMW PGA is serious business, particularly at a venue where the 32-year-old has excelled at in the past. Now boasting the Claret Jug in his locker, a debut in the Ryder Cup under close friend Padraig Harrington is next on his list. That journey begins here.
Incredibly, the likeable 28-year-old from Southport hasn't missed a cut - anywhere - during 2019, reflecting his imperious consistency. Runner-up at the Open, Fleetwood is certainly due another title on the European Tour, and there would be few more popular champions if he was to succeed on Sunday at Wentworth.
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