BMW PGA Championship preview

The European Tour heads over the Irish Sea to Wentworth in Surrey for the BMW PGA Championship. Miguel Angel Jiménez defends the title but faces strong competition from a field that includes eight Major champions.

Miguel Angel Jimenez defends

Lowdown: After a thrilling Irish Open last week at County Louth GC, the European Tour cavalcade heads over the Irish Sea and across the country to the Wentworth Club in Surrey. Since 1984 the European Tour’s flagship event has been hosted around Wentworth’s West Course. In that time there have been some notable winners including: Faldo, Langer, Seve and Monty. In 2008 Miguel Angel Jiménez was champion as he came through a playoff against Oliver Wilson. The competition always attracts a stellar field and this year is no exception. Henrik Stenson, Lee Westood, Ernie Els and Masters Champion Angel Cabrera will all be competing for the huge €4,500,000 prize fund and the first prize of €750,000. Cabrera will be looking to follow the example of Seve, Faldo, Langer and Olazabal who all secured green jackets before going on to win the PGA Championship the following month. In total, there are 20 of the world’s top-50 players and eight Major champions on the start sheet.  

Venue: Wentworth Club, Surrey, England Course stats: par 72, 7,320 yards Purse: €4,500,000, Winner: €750,000 Defending Champion: Miguel Angel Jiménez (-11)

TV coverage: Thursday 14 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 10am Friday 15 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10am Saturday 16 – Live on the BBC from 2pm Sunday 17 – Live on the BBC from 2.30pm Player Watch: Henrik Stenson – Following victory in the Players Championship, the big-hitting Swede is up to fourth on the Official World Golf Ranking. He doesn’t have the greatest record in this event and he’ll be looking to rectify that this week. Anders Hansen – Twice a winner of this tournament (in 2002 and 2007), the Dane is already a winner on tour in 2009 and has been showing promising form over the last couple of weeks. Angel Cabrera – Winner here in 2005, Cabrera always performs well at Wentworth – he also has an excellent record in the World Match Play. He’ll be looking to display some of the form that earned him a second Major title at Augusta last month.

Key Hole: 17th. The famous par five has been lengthened to 610 yards and is a true three-shot hole for all but the very longest hitters. Skills Required: Opportunism. You have to know where to fight your battles around the West Course – there are definite birdie chances but there are also holes where the pros will have to take a more cautious and strategic approach.

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?