Byeong Hun An defends BMW PGA Championship

The European Tour heads home to Wentworth this week

Byeong Hun An defends BMW PGA Championship
Byeong Hun An defends BMW PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The European Tour heads home to Wentworth this week for one of the circuit’s flagship events. Byeong Hun An defends the BMW PGA Championship.

This will be the 62nd edition of this tournament and it has attracted a strong field. Byeong Hun An defends the BMW PGA Championship but he will face stern competition from the likes of: Masters champion Danny Willett, two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer, former World Number 1s Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, and form players like Rafa Cabrera Bello and Russell Knox.

Since 1984 the PGA Championship has been hosted over Wentworth’s West Course, or “Burma Road” as it’s known. In that time there have been some notable winners, including: Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros, Colin Montgomerie and Luke Donald who took the title in consecutive seasons – 2011, 2012.

Last year, Byeong Hun An fired a superb final round of 65 to win by six shots from Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and evergreen Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez. All three will compete again this year.

Watch the famous Jimenez warm-up routine:

The West Course at Wentworth was originally designed by renowned architect Harry Colt, but Ernie Els has overseen significant changes to the layout in the last 10 years. There are set to be further changes following this year’s tournament.

The weather forecast is a touch unsettled – sunshine and showers looks most likely.

Venue: Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, England Date: May 26-29 Course stats: par 72, 7,284 yards Purse: €5,000,000 Defending Champion: Byeong Hun An (-21)

TV Coverage: Thursday 26 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Friday 27 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Saturday 28 – Sky Sports 4 from 12.30pm Sunday 29 – Sky Sports 4 from 12.30pm

Player watch:

Byeong Hun An defends the title, but who might he face opposition from?

Lee Westwood – Tied second at The Masters and tied 10th last week in the Irish Open, Westwood looks to be somewhere near to top gear. His short game appears sharper and he has great experience to draw on for this event. This will be his 23rd start in the tournament. He has twice been runner-up and would love to go one better.

Alex Noren – He may have missed the cut last week in Ireland but he was on excellent form before that with two top-10s in Spain and China. He was 10th in this event last year.

James Morrison – He’s had a couple of good results at Wentorth – 10th in 2012 and 11th last year. He’s been showing good form with a tied fourth finish at Valderrama and a tie for 10th last week at the K Club.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello – The Spaniard is one of the form players in world golf right now and is overdue a big win. Third in the WGC Match Play and eighth last week, he’s a factor in every tournament he enters at the moment. This course should suit his game even though his record in the event isn’t brilliant – he has posted three top-20s at Wentworth in the past mind you.

Click here to read the betsafe guide to strategic golf betting by Fergus Bisset

Key hole: 18th. A 521-yard par-5, it’s eminently reachable in two for most players in the field. But, a water hazard in front of the green makes going for the eagle risky. The green and surrounds have been altered in recent seasons to make going for the surface in two blows a more appealing prospect. If someone is chasing on Sunday afternoon, they might just be tempted.

Skills required: Fast finishing. With two par-5s to close out the course, there’s potential for big swings at the death. The players will be looking to finish 4-4 and anything more than that will feel like an opportunity missed.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during 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 history section of "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?