PGA European - BMW PGA Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, May 21st through Sunday, May 24th
SITE: Wentworth Club (West Course), Surrey, England
COURSE ARCHITECT: Harry Colt (1926), Chris Kennedy (re-design, 2001),
         Ernie Els (renovation, 2006, 2009-12)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,302
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 473 Yds10 - Par 3 184 Yds
2 - Par 3 154 Yds11 - Par 4 416 Yds
3 - Par 4 465 Yds12 - Par 5 531 Yds
4 - Par 5 552 Yds13 - Par 4 470 Yds
5 - Par 3 203 Yds14 - Par 3 179 Yds
6 - Par 4 418 Yds15 - Par 4 489 Yds
7 - Par 4 396 Yds16 - Par 4 383 Yds
8 - Par 4 391 Yds17 - Par 5 610 Yds
9 - Par 4 449 Yds18 - Par 5 539 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,501 Yds37 3,801 Yds
 
Annual:  59th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 6 a.m.-1 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Rory McIlroy
Runner-Up:  Shane Lowry
Tournament Record:  266 (Brian Bamford, 1961)
54-Hole Record:  199 (Anders Hansen, 2002)
36-Hole Record:  131 (Paul McGinley, 2008)
Course Record:  62 (Thomas Bjorn, 2014)
Total Purse:  $5,575,713
Share:  1st Place - $943,579; 2nd Place - $629,049; 3rd Place - $354,409
 
2014 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Rory McIlroy274Stephen Gallacher279
Shane Lowry275Five players at280
Luke Donald276
Thomas Bjorn276
Simon Dyson279
 
Past BMW PGA Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2014Rory McIlroy (274) -- Shane Lowry
2013Matteo Manassero (278) -- Simon Khan, Marc Warren
2012Luke Donald (273) -- Paul Lawrie, Justin Rose
2011*Luke Donald (278) -- Lee Westwood
2010Simon Khan (278) -- Luke Donald, Fredrik Andersson Hed
2009Paul Casey (271) -- Ross Fisher
2008*Miguel Angel Jimenez (277) -- Oliver Wilson
2007*Anders Hansen (280) -- Justin Rose
2006David Howell (271) -- Simon Khan
2005Angel Cabrera (273) -- Paul McGinley
2004Scott Drummond (269) -- Angel Cabrera
2003*Ignacio Garrido (270) -- Trevor Immelman
2002Anders Hansen (269) -- Eduardo Romero, Colin Montgomerie
2001Andrew Oldcorn (272) -- Angel Cabrera
2000Colin Montgomerie (271) -- Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Andrew Coltart
1999Colin Montgomerie (270) -- Mark James
1998Colin Montgomerie (274) -- Patrik Sjoland, Ernie Els, Gary Orr
1997Ian Woosnam (275) -- Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Ernie Els
1996Costantino Rocca (274) -- Nick Faldo, Paul Lawrie
1995Bernhard Langer (279) -- Per-Ulrik Johansson, Michael Campbell
1994Jose Maria Olazabal (271) -- Ernie Els
1993Bernhard Langer (274) -- Gordon Brand Jr, Frank Nobilo, Colin
Montgomerie
1992Tony Johnstone (272) -- Gordon Brand Jr, Jose Maria Olazabal
1991*Seve Ballesteros (271) -- Colin Montgomerie
1990Mike Harwood (271) -- John Bland, Nick Faldo
1989Nick Faldo (272) -- Ian Woosnam
1988Ian Woosnam (274) -- Seve Ballesteros, Mark James
1987Bernhard Langer (270) -- Seve Ballesteros
1986*Rodger Davis (281) -- Des Smyth
1985*Paul Way (282) -- Sandy Lyle
1984#Howard Clark (204) -- Gordon J. Brand, Bernhard Langer
1983Seve Ballesteros (278) -- Ken Brown, Sandy Lyle
1982*Tony Jacklin (284) -- Bernhard Langer
1981Nick Faldo (274) -- Ken Brown, Neil Coles
1980Nick Faldo (283) -- Ken Brown
1979Vicente Fernandez (288) -- Gary Player, Baldovino Dassu
1978Nick Faldo (278) -- Ken Brown
1977Manuel Pinero (283) -- Peter Oosterhuis
1976*Neil Coles (280) -- Eamonn Darcy, Gary Player
1975Arnold Palmer (285) -- Eamonn Darcy
1974Maurice Bembridge (278) -- Peter Oosterhuis
1973Peter Oosterhuis (280) -- Dale Hayes, Donald Swaelens
1972Tony Jacklin (279) -- Peter Oosterhuis
1971Not Held
1970Not Held
1969Bernard Gallacher (293)
1968David Talbot (276)
1967Peter Townsend (275)
1966Brian Huggett (271)
1965*Peter Alliss (286) -- Peter Butler
1964A.G.Grubb (287)
1963Peter Butler (306)
1962Peter Alliss (287)
1961Brian Bamford (266)
1960@A.F.Stickley (247)
1959Dai Rees (283)
1958Harry Bradshaw (287)
1957Peter Alliss (286)
1956*C.H.Ward (282) -- Eric Brown
1955Ken Bousfield (277)

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened (54 holes)

@ - Rain Shortened (63 holes)

Note:Formerly known as Schweppes Open (1967-69), Viyella PGA Championship
(1972-74), Penfold PGA Championship (1975-77), Colgate PGA Championship (1978-79), Sun Alliance PGA Championship (1980-83), Whyte & Mackey PGA Championship (1984-87), Volvo PGA Championship (1988-2004), BMW Championship (2005-06).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2005200620072008200920102011201220132014
Rory McIlroy---------mc5thT-48T-24mcmcWon
Shane Lowry---------------T-65T-4T-68T-122nd
Thomas BjornT-22mcT-39mcT-16mc---T-43T-40T-3
Luke DonaldT-18T-257thT-3T-35T-2WonWonmcT-3
Francesco Molinari---mcT-30mcT-35T-17T-50T-7T-9T-7
Martin Kaymer------T-30T-16T-11mcT-31T-15T-50T-12
Marc Warren---wdT-30T-22T-21mc---T-27T-2T-16
Richard GreenT-33T-14T-8T-6T-48mcT-48T-65mcT-16
Justin Rose------2ndmc---T-10mcT-2T-5025th
Anders HansenmcmcWonT-40T-21T-71T-18mcT-37T-30
Miguel A. JimenezT-563rdT-5WonT-43mcmcT-39T-4T-35
Lee WestwoodT-27mcT-12wdmcT-102ndT-33T-9T-35
Thongchai JaideeT-11mcT-8T-30T-43T-13T-24T-56T-40T-38
Edoardo Molinari---------------mcT-39T-49T-19T-46
Alvaro Quiros---------mcT-16mcT-18T-10T-32T-57
Nicolas Colsaerts---T-35---------78thmcmcT-24T-71
Matteo Manassero---------------T-17T-7T-43Wonmc
Simon Khanmc2ndT-24T-10mcWonmcT-27T-2mc
Ernie ElsT-39T-19T-24mcT-21T-34T-16T-7T-6mc
David Howell4thWon---T-63T-72T-61T-39mcmcmc
James Morrison---------------mcmcT-10mc--
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Rory McIlroy
Darkhorse - Francesco Molinari
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Sergio Garcia) - Finished tied for 22nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Thomas Aiken) - Finished tied for 22nd
 
NOTES:
The marquee event on the European Tour, the BMW PGA Championship, takes center stage this week, as players take aim at the 5 million euro purse at Wentworth Club. This tournament boasts a field of seven of the top-30 players in the world rankings - defending champion Rory McIlroy (1), Justin Rose (6), Martin Kaymer (18), Brooks Koepka (22), Lee Westwood (27), Victor Dubuisson (29) and Jamie Donaldson (30).

McIlroy is coming off a victory last week at the Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour. He has three victories worldwide this year, including a win at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship. McIlroy has seven top-10 finishes in nine events this season. Rose won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on the PGA Tour in April. He also finished tied for second at the Masters.

This tournament has been held at the Wentworth Club since 1984. The Wentworth Club used to play host to the World Match Play Championship from 1964-2007. The prize fund of 5 million euros is the biggest purse on the 2015 European Tour outside of the major championships, World Golf Championships and the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

Last year, McIlroy fired a 6-under 66 in the final round to come from behind and win. McIlroy collected his sixth career title on the European Tour at 14-under-par 274. It was his first victory on tour since the 2012 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. This was McIlroy's first European Tour win on European soil and he became the first Irishman to win this tournament since Harry Bradshaw in 1958. McIlroy entered the day seven shots behind Bjorn, equaling the largest final-round comeback in the history of the tournament. Simon Khan also came from seven back to win in 2010. McIlroy went on to win the British Open last year and became the first player to win this event and the British Open in the same season.

In 2013, Matteo Manassero birdied the fourth playoff hole to top Khan and Marc Warren. The 20-year-old Italian, who became the youngest winner of the European Tour's signature event, captured his fourth career victory.

In 2011, Luke Donald bested then world No. 1 Lee Westwood in a playoff to become first in the rankings for the first time. In 2012, Donald returned to the top spot occupied for several weeks by McIlroy. Donald won by four shots over Paul Lawrie and Rose at 15-under 273. He posted four rounds in the 60s and joined Sir Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie as the only players to successfully defend their titles in event history.

Donald became the ninth player to win this tournament on multiple occasions, joining Faldo (1978, 80-81, 89), Peter Alliss (1957, 62, 65), Bernhard Langer (1987, 93, 95), Colin Montgomerie (1998-2000), Tony Jacklin (1972, 82), Seve Ballesteros (1983, 91), Ian Woosnam (1988, 97) and Anders Hansen (2002, 07).

In 2010, Khan fired a 5-under 66 in the final round to overcome a 7-stroke deficit and win. Khan finished at 6-under 278 and won by a stroke over Donald and Fredrik Andersson Hed. Khan was not only a sponsor's exemption, but was only notified three days prior to the tournament that he would be in the field. Khan became the first European Tour Qualifying School graduate to win this event the year after graduation. It was Khan's second European Tour title after he won the 2004 Celtic Manor Wales Open.

Hansen birdied the first playoff hole in 2007 to defeat Rose. The win was Hansen's second at this event after taking the 2002 title. That was his only other victory on the European Tour prior to his playoff win in 2007.

Scott Drummond fired an 8-under 64 in the final round to hold off the competition for his maiden European Tour title in 2004. Drummond, who finished at 19-under-par 269, joined Hansen (2002) as the only players to earn their first career titles at this tournament.

Montgomerie dominated this event with 13 top-10s and a tournament-best 42 rounds in the 60s. Montgomerie is a 3-time winner (1998-2000) and has been runner-up three times since 1991.

Faldo is a 4-time winner and has 13 top-10s. He holds the record for most sub- par rounds with 70, followed by Montgomerie with 61 and Jose Maria Olazabal with 53. Langer (1987) and Howard Clark (1984) are the only players in event history to win wire-to-wire with no ties. Only eight players have posted all four rounds in the 60s and won, with Donald being the last to accomplish the feat in 2012.

The European Tour travels to Northern Ireland next week for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, where Mikko Ilonen will defend his title.

05/19 15:40:45 ET

As of May 19, 2015, at 03:41 PM ET
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