McIlroy heads field at BMW Championship
The last time Rory McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship, he went on to win The Open two months later, so the Northern Irishman will be hoping for a repeat performance – starting at Wentworth this week.
The 2014 Champion Golfer started the season well with a pair of top-three finishes, followed in March by a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
But he will be looking to bounce back after missing the cut at The Players Championship last time out.
McIlroy will be joined on the fairways at Wentworth by three other Champion Golfers in Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els, the latter of whom played a big role in the course’s redesign.
Wentworth winners and Champion Golfers
For McIlroy, success at Wentworth means success at the year’s third major, which could bode well at The 147th Open at Carnoustie in July.
McIlroy said: “I’m looking forward to going back to Wentworth. I haven’t played there in a couple of years but from what I’ve seen, with the new grass they’ve put in, it looks a much better golf course, a much more playable golf course."
“It was always a great course, but sometimes it could get very tricky with some of the lies you could get. If Wentworth gets good weather, and hopefully we do, the crowds are awesome, the golf course is great and the area is beautiful, so I’m looking forward to going back.”
Plenty of Champion Golfers have attempted to win both trophies in the same year but fallen short, most noticeably Sir Nick Faldo, winner in 1987, 1990 and 1992.
Faldo managed to win on four occasions in the British PGA Championship, once at Wentworth but never in the same year as one of his Open victories.
It was a similar story for Seve Ballesteros, twice a champion at the European Tour’s most prestigious event, but not in the same year as one of his three Open Championship-winning seasons in 1979, 1984 and 1988.
Another exciting finish?
Swede Alex Noren stormed to victory last year with a course record 62 in the final round and spectators will be hoping for more low scores this year.
Since 2005, the Wentworth West Course has seen many modifications to the greens, bunkers and hole lengths, work done in consultation with Ernie Els, so the veteran South African is one player who knows his way round.
Another is Lee Westwood, who will be making his 25th consecutive appearance in the tournament, while European number one Tommy Fleetwood and world number ten Paul Casey are sure to bring in the crowds.
Spieth and Johnson out to regain Fort Worth title
Across the pond, Champion Golfers Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth will be taking part in the Dean & Deluca Invitational in Fort Worth.
Johnson lifted the Claret Jug after a fine performance at St Andrews three years ago, and has twice triumphed at Fort Worth.
Meanwhile current Champion Golfer Spieth will be looking to finish ahead of a strong field to regain the title he won in 2016.
Open places up for grabs in Japan
Meanwhile, at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, four players can earn a spot in the field at Carnoustie via The Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open.
If the field needs any further inspiration then look no further than Todd Hamilton – who won in 2003 before going on to become 2004 Champion Golfer at Royal Troon.