The European Tour heads home to Wentworth this week for the circuit’s flagship event. Alex Noren is defending champion in the BMW PGA Championship.

BMW PGA Championship Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

The European Tour is in England this week for the circuit’s flagship event. Sweden’s Alex Noren defends the BMW PGA Championship over the West Course at Wentworth.

Alex Noren is defending champion

Alex Noren is defending champion

This week sees the 64th edition of the PGA Championship and it has attracted a stellar field including Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman who won the 2014 edition of this event, hasn’t played since 2015. McIlroy is joined in the field by Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey. Other star entrants include: 2017 Scottish Open winner Rafa Cabrera Bello, Branden Grace, who closed with a 62 in Texas last week, and defending champ Alex Noren.

This event will be the first of this year’s Rolex Series. Each of the eight tournaments in the series will offer a minimum prize fund of $7 million and that is what’s up for grabs this week.

It will be the 38th time the PGA Championship has been hosted over the West Course at Wentworth and the 35th year in succession – dating back to 1984. In that time winners over “Burma Road” have included Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros and Colin Montgomerie.

Bernhard Langer was champion three times

Bernhard Langer was champion three times

Last year, Alex Noren produced a brilliant final round of 62 that included an incredible eagle three on the home hole. As the rain started to fall, nobody could match Noren’s total and the Swede was champion.

The West Course at Wentworth has been revamped over the years with the most recent changes following advice from Thomas Bjorn, Ernie Els and Paul McGinley. All the greens were reseeded for last season and the 8th, 11th, 14th and 16th greens completely reshaped.

All of the bunkers were redesigned and rebuilt, 29 of them removed. The objective of the alterations was to reinstate the playing characteristics Harry Colt envisaged when he originally laid out the course.

The weather looks like being fine with just a small chance of rain on Thursday. Conditions should be pretty good.

Venue: Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey
Date: May 24-27
Course stats: par 72, 7,284 yards
Purse: €5,970,000
Defending champion: Alex Noren (-11)

How to watch the BMW PGA Championship

TV Coverage:
Wednesday 23 – Sky Sports Golf from 3pm (On the range)
Thursday 24 – Sky Sports Golf from 10am
Friday 25 – Sky Sports Golf from 10am
Saturday 26 – Sky Sports Golf from 11.30am
Sunday 27 – Sky Sports Golf from 11.30am, Sky Sports Main Event from 4.30pm

Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the BMW PGA Championship?

Why not buy a Now TV pass? For £7.99 you can get a day pass if you wish to watch one of the rounds or, for just £12.99, you can get a week pass to see the whole tournament.

Buy a Now TV Sky Sports Day Pass for £7.99
Buy a Now TV Sky Sports Week Pass for £12.99

Players to watch:

Paul Casey – He won this event back in 2009 but hasn’t played in it since 2013. He’s trying to secure his place in this year’s Ryder Cup team and a win this week would go a long way to doing that.

Paul Dunne – The Irishman won the recent GolfSixes tournament together with Gavin Moynihan. He was also second in the Open de Espana and tied seventh in the Volvo China Open.

Andy Sullivan – He’s shown signs of a return to form recently, not least with a tie for third in the Sicilian Open. He could be a dark horse this week.

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. If someone is chasing on Sunday afternoon, they might 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.