BMW PGA Championship 2020
The Event, Venue and Course
Following on from the Rolex Series, Scottish Open last week. The European Tour heads south, to my neck of the woods for yet another Rolex Series event and in fact the tours flagship event.
This is by far the event I enjoy most, the event I tend to have great success with and one I look forward to in eager anticipation each year. However, this year, with no spectators and consequently not being able to base myself at the venue for the entirety of the week. I cant hide the disappointment I'm feeling from having this opportunity stripped away.
Anyway, that's my little moan out the way and although I may of missed out on getting a personal feel for the course and chance to see the players practice before the event I have tapped into the next best options and contacted some of their resident professionals and members to get their take on this years set up for you.
The BMW PGA Championship is one of the longest standing events on the European Tour. Formed in 1955 it has had various different sponsors attached to its name and in its early years played over a variety of different courses. However, this was well before my introduction to the game and I have always associated this event to Wentworths West Course and always considered this to be our version of the Masters.
The Wentworth Club in Surrey, England. Is one very impressive venue and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have visited and played there a good number of times. Regardless if its to attend this event, use the practice facilities or enjoy the privileges' of a trip around any of there courses. I look forward to those days like kids look forward to opening presents on Christmas day.
The jewel in the Wentworths Club crown is their West Course. A Harry Colt design that has been lengthened and modernized by Ernie Els and the European Tour Designs team.
Now measuring 7,286 with a par of 72, this very classical design especially for the Surrey region is best described as tall pine tree lined layout with a hint of heathland and massive splattering of modern day manicuring and presentation.
The greens here since the installation of the sub-air system and relaying of the surfaces offer some of the purist and most consistent greens most of the field will experience all year.
In all, it is no wonder that this event at this course, even in our current situation attracts such a strong field and will always be regarded as the premium event to play in Europe.
WEATHER/DRAW - The Thursday Pm wave seem to have the advantage this week.
The current forecast suggests fairly consistent windspeeds throughout the day and scattered showers. However on Friday the morning is noticeably calmer and as we approach the afternoon windspeeds start picking up and gusting upwards of 20 mph.
OFF THE TEE - The West Course at Wentworth is quite demanding off the tee. This year even more so, with the recent downpour of heavy rain the fairways are soft and the rough is lush.
The key stats I am looking at in these sections are overall driving and slightly favoring good distance. The course will be playing much longer than previous years and getting a shorter club in hand from fairway or cuts of rough should offer a big advantage.
IRON PLAY - Hitting greens in regulation has always been a big factor that contributes to success. Players should be looking for something in the region of 80% GIR, however with the conditions forecast and longer playing length of the course. I would expect this number to be lower and a little more weighting offered towards scrambling skills than I have in previous years.
PUTTING and SCRAMBLING - Historical data has always suggested both scrambling and putting are extremely important here. As mentioned above I am expecting players to be a little more reliant on their short game this time around. The one thing we can definitely rely on here is extremely consistent greens. Just like Augusta, Wentworth utilize a sub-air system and regardless of past or current weather, they have the luxury of producing exactly the green set up they desire.
PATRICK REED 11/1
THOMAS PIETERS - 25/1
IAN POULTER - 40/1
STEVEN BROWN - 225/1
FIRST ROUND LEADER
THOMAS PIETERS - 35/1
BRANDON STONE - 66/1
ADRI ARNAUS - 80/1
SHUBSHANKER SHARMA - 100/1
PATRICK REED - $11.0K
THOMAS PIETERS - $9.2K
RASMUS HOJGAARD- $9.1K
IAN POULTER - $8.9K
SAM HORSFIELD - $8.6K
THOMAS DETRY - $8.4K
VICTOR PEREZ - $8.0K
MIKE LORENZO-VERA - $7.6K
BRANDON STONE - $7.4K
ALEX BJORK - $7.1K
ADRI ARNAUS - $7.0K
SHUBSHANKER SHARMA $6.8K
STEVEN BROWN - $6.7K