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5 Outsiders to Watch at The 2023 BMW PGA Championship

By: | Mon 11 Sep 2023 | Comments

Synonymous with the modern history of the British game and what was once simply known as the European Tour, Wentworth possesses a grandeur that has long held a place in the hearts of golf fans. Whether that be its decades as prime-stage for the BMW PGA Championship or the iconic World Match Play of generations past, everyone has particular memories of the West Course.

For the youngsters of today who will stride the fairways of this Surrey estate during the coming days, they will have the opportunity to see the entirety of Europe's Ryder Cup side in action just weeks before they represent the continent in the shadow of Rome.

Naturally, the favourites this week include luminaries like Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland, but the biggest names have previously been shocked by relative outsiders at this venue.

Could that happen again? Well, here are some unlikely contenders...

Eddie Pepperell

Eddie Pepperell

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

When he's not walking his dogs or chatting away on a podcast with Iain Carter and Andrew Cotter, the Englishman has been quietly taking progressive steps forward with his game.

He's yet to record that breakthrough, resurgent comeback victory, but the 32-year-old has enjoyed more decent weeks than not during the past 18 months or so. This could be another for the former British Master.

Adrian Otaegui

The fourth and most recent of Otaegui's tour victories came last October courtesy of a brilliant display at fearsome Valderrama, meaning that even the stout challenge of Wentworth shouldn't be ominous for the Spaniard.

His season has been less spectacular than we've become accustomed to, but he has nonetheless finished runner-up at the KLM Open and recently posted a strong finish in Northern Ireland, suggesting that we due to see another moment of glory from the 30-year-old.

Calum Hill

The Scot was in imperious form early last week in Ireland before falling away somewhat during the weekend, but that sign of promise at The K Club underlines that he is more than capable of competing at the highest of levels. 

It wasn't long ago when the 28-year-old enjoyed back-to-back top ten finishes on the DP World Tour, including a tie for fourth at the British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo. That performance at The Belfry could be replicated at Wentworth.

Ross Fisher

Now 42, the local boy has a lengthy association with this venue and it was 14 years ago when he narrowly lost to Paul Casey. 

It's been a fine career for Fisher that has included five tour wins, a Ryder Cup in 2010, and 33 major championship appearances. While the good weeks have been fewer of late, they do occasionally reappear and there would be no better place for that to happen than Wentworth.

Luke Donald

This might be somewhat fanciful given his attention will be fixed on Marco Simone, but the European captain should enjoy this week. He's twice a winner of the BMW PGA Championship and has made 12 of 19 cuts worldwide this year, highlighting that his game remains somewhat competitive.

With his team now in place, maybe there is psychological freedom to roll back the years in 2023.

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What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)

Tags: european tour dp world tour


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