The BMW PGA Championship, the first Rolex Series event of the new season, returns to Wentworth from May 23-27. Kicking off with a star-studded celebrity pro-am on Wednesday 23rd, this year's event promises to be bigger and better than ever, with a weekend of nail-biting golf and a host of entertainment lined up for fans.
By Charlotte Hope
Here’s what you can expect from this year’s championship…
Star-Studded Line Up at the Celeb Pro Am
Wednesday’s celebrity pro-am will most definitely not disappoint fans this year, giving spectators an opportunity to get up close and personal with stars of film, television, and sport- and of course the players as well who are always in good spirits and up for a laugh on the day.
Damian Lewis, star of Billions who finished third in last year’s event, will join Fifty Shades of Grey protagonist Jamie Dornan (swoon), Luke Pasqualino from Skins, and The Crown actor Matthew Goode amongst the line-up of film and TV stars.
Putting their sporting prowess to test on the golf course will be recently retired Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, and football legends Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, as well as England great Alan Shearer and cricketer Kevin Pietersen.
Just in case you’ve missed the latest big news, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will also tee it up alongside European Number One golfer Tommy Fleetwood.
With Georgie Bingham the only female celebrity representing the women on Wednesday, our only question is- where are all the girls?! After what felt like a turning point in the world of women’s golf at the GolfSixes, it’s disappointing to see there aren’t more ladies teeing up to show the men what’s what, but let’s see what next year holds instead.
There’s More Than Golf To Entertain Fans
This year's championship promises to be bigger and better than ever, with a weekend of entertainment lined up for fans away from the fairways.
The Championship Village will be full of activities, stalls, and entertainment, and on Saturday 26th May, London band Rudimental will headline the BMW Show Stage, bringing a close to the third day of championship. Their performance will be one of the band's first UK-outings this year, joining Simple Minds who will close the tournament on Sunday night.
The European Tour’s long-standing partner Titleist will also be offering golfers a fitting experience of a lifetime where 12 golfers will have the chance to step inside-the-ropes as the final groups prepare for their last two rounds.
The Rolex Series Returns
The BMW PGA Championship marks the first Rolex Series event of the new season– the eight premium events on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
Culminating in the DP World Tour Championship where Tommy Fleetwood was crowned last year’s Race to Dubai champion, each event has a minimum prize fund of US$7million.
Alex Noren Looks to Defend His Title
Could it be Swede success for Alex Noren who returns to Wentworth to defend his BMW PGA Championship title.
An almost unbelievable final round (and course record breaking) score of 62 last year saw Noren catapult into the lead at last year’s championships, so we’re looking forward to seeing what the Swede has in store this year.
Looking closer to home, the UK will be well-represented at this week’s tournament, spearheaded by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy.
Thanks to a recurring rib injury last year, this will be McIlroy’s first appearance at Wentworth Club since the 2015 Championship, meaning that the 2014 winner will be taking on the revamped West Course for the first time.
World Number 12 Paul Casey, 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and 2016 BMW PGA Championship winner Chris Wood will also tee it up alongside England’s two most recent European Tour winners, Matt Wallace and Eddie Pepperell, while Andy Sullivan, Ryder Cup veteran Ian Poulter and fan-favourite Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston will also be in the field.
Image credit: Getty Images/ Andrew Redington
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