BMW PGA Championship: Should FLAGSHIP European Tour event be moved?

There are some notable absentees this year, including Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 7 Sep 2021

BMW PGA Championship: Should FLAGSHIP European Tour event be moved?

It's nearly time for the flagship event of the European Tour, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club. 

But there are some notable absentees from this September's event, begging the question - should it be moved back to its former date of May?

In 2019, when Masters champion Danny Willett emerged victorious after a few years in the doldrums, there were a host of big names playing. 

Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy, and Tony Finau all played. 

They are not on the entry list for this year's championship, starting from Thursday. 

 

 

There are some notable big names making the journey across the pond, though. 

Viktor Hovland will peg it up before joining the rest of the European team for the forthcoming Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. 

American Billy Horschel, who had a decent Tour Championship finishing T9, has also flown over.  

So let's give credit where credit is due.

 

 

The famous championship was switched to September in 2019 following the decision to move the US PGA Championship to May.

Tyrrell Hatton returns to defend his title, while European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington will also play. 

The latter will name his captain's picks for the Ryder Cup afterwards, although it does already appear that two of them will go to Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia.

There is a strong rumour that Justin Rose will take the third pick, but nothing has yet been decided. 

Poulter, Rose, Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood, Adam Scott and Shane Lowry have all arrived at Wentworth this week. 

But McIlroy, who many UK fans would loved to have seen in Surrey this week, has decided he needs to take some time off to recharge his batteries after a less than inspiring season.

"I was planning to go over to Wentworth to play the BMW PGA, but it's just too much travel," said McIlroy, who won this tournament in 2014.

"And with what's coming up with Ryder Cup, that's a long week, no matter if you're in Europe or the States, especially as I haven't missed a session yet. So say I play five sessions again, yeah, it's a really long week.

"So the two weeks off after the Tour Championship are going to be well needed, and I'll go in there nice and refreshed and ready to give it my all."

 

 

The Hojgaard brothers will also be playing, after they recently made history on the European Tour. 

Nicolai won the Italian Open seven days after his brother Rasmus won the European Masters to clinch his third European Tour title. 

It is still a cracking field this week, but it's fair to say previous years have certainly looked better on paper.

The BMW PGA Championship, which to many is still considered the flagship event on the European Tour schedule, deserves the very best European players in its field.