BMW PGA Championship
Luke Donald has won the last two PGA Championships and will be looking for a third win this week in the only European Tour event staged in England this season. Remarkably there is only one week on the schedule when the home of the Tour stages a regular event. Even the Open Championship is being played in Scotland so that leaves the BMW sponsored event as the only tournament in England during 2013
The PGA Championship is the flagship event of the European Tour and attracts the strongest field in Britain after the Open Championship. Every member of the successful European Ryder Cup side will be playing at Wentworth, the regular host for this prestigious event. The US based leading European are all making the journey to Surrey to play in this special tournament.
When Donald won his first PGA Championship two years ago he beat Lee Westwood in a play-off. Not only did the winner of that play-off earn a huge cheque he also became number one in the world rankings. Donald’s status as statistically the best player in the world was achieved through several years of consistency. He became the first player to win the money lists on the two main Tours in 2011, a feat then matched by Rory McIlroy last season.
There is no doubt that Donald is one of the best players in the world but some commentators have questioned the validity of a system that allows a player to reach the pinnacle of the game without winning a major. Sir Nick Faldo has been vocal on this matter through his position as an analyst for one of the major US networks when they show live golf.
It is fair to say that Donald has a poor major championship record for a player of his ability and status. He has played in 39 major champions with 8 top 10 finishes and his best effort being tied third in the 2006 US PGA Championship. His best chance this year will be in the US Open at Merion, a course ideally suited to the English player’s game.
Justin Rose has the skill’s profile to score well on the West Course at Wentworth. His game is more about accuracy and distance. This week’s host course is about average in length but there is a premium on finding the fairways and reaching the large undulating greens in the vicinity of the flag to set up birdie and eagle opportunities. Rose looks the best equipped of the Ryder Cup players to win England’s sole European Tour event this year.