Why It's Time For Wentworth To Be On The PGA Tour Schedule

Future BMW PGA Championships should be co-sanctioned between the DP World and PGA Tours

Shane Lowry kisses the BMW PGA Championship trophy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A unique BMW PGA Championship wrapped up on Sunday, having been reduced to 54-holes following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday afternoon, prompting round one to be suspended and continued on Saturday morning.

The early week proceedings, like many tournaments this year, were dominated by LIV Golf with a number of the series' players in the field at Wentworth, but once again like many events this year, it was the golf that did the talking when the weekend came.

Shane Lowry went bogey-free round the West Course to edge out Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm by a single stroke as three of Europe's 2023 Ryder Cuppers wowed crowds along with another player who will feature on Luke Donald's side, Viktor Hovland.

It will go down as one of Shane Lowry's biggest wins, only behind the 149th Open at Portrush in the same league as his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational triumph and Irish Open win while still an amateur.

The week once again showed why the BMW PGA Championship is the DP World Tour's greatest tournament and there should be calls for it to feature on the PGA Tour schedule in the coming years in a co-sanctioned manner like the Scottish Open.

The fans have cried out for more Americans to play each year and they've been coming over much more frequently in recent times, with players including Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Billy Horschel all supporting the event over the past few playings. There's surely set to be more next year or in 2024 after Rory McIlroy hinted at future changes to the schedule as the PGA and DP World Tours strengthen their alliance.

It's very clear that the PGA Tour has seen far more benefits to the strategic alliance as of right now and it's also clear that the DP World Tour will be seeing the benefits coming in the future - as it would not have signed up with its American counterparts unless there were serious opportunities for its players. For the PGA Tour to not be seen purely as a US Tour, it needs to get its players overseas more and the opportunity with the new strategic alliance means that Wentworth can be a very special week for both tours each September. 

It's a former Ryder Cup venue, former host of the World Match Play and venue for the PGA Championship that has seen winners including Tony Jacklin, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy. It's now time for the US stars to come over and test themselves on the famous West Course in front of some of the best golf fans in the world.

Rory McIlroy hits a shot in front of a huge crowd

The Wentworth crowds are some of the best golf fans in the world

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"'24 is when there's going to be a lot of stuff happening schedule-wise," McIlroy said earlier in the week about what could be coming in the future with the PGA and DP World Tours. "I think that's when you're going to start to see the benefits of this partnership," McIlroy said, as he described the strategic alliance as a "massive help" to the DP World Tour. "There's a lot of moving parts to this. I think by giving everyone 15 months to get their head around it and put their heads together and come up with what I think is going to be an unbelievable calendar for golf in 2024, I think that's a great thing."

The Northern Irishman believes Europe is a likely location for one, or more, of the 'elevated' events set to arrive on the PGA Tour. "If we are talking about about elevated events and bringing the best people together, I think for the benefit of the global game, a handful of those events need to be in Europe," he said.

"I've said that from the start. This can't be American-centric. This has to be with this region in mind, with wherever we want to go and play, I think that has to happen but I think the partnership between the PGA Tour and the European Tour is mutual beneficial because I think by partnering with the DP World Tour, the PGA Tour unlocks that global nature of the game that they have not really been able to get a stronghold over."

There have been serious questions about the DP World Tour's decision to choose the PGA Tour over LIV Golf, and rightly so, but a strengthened and co-sanctioned BMW PGA Championship would be one huge benefit for the Wentworth-based circuit.

A co-sanctioned event would bring some of the PGA Tour's big hitters over - perhaps the likes of Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler - and truly turn the BMW PGA Championship into a European Major. The event could become out of reach initially for some of the DP World Tour's rank-and-file players but the event would benefit from a huge prize fund increase, greater world ranking points and even larger interest from both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5