Stenson looks to boost Wentworth record
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2009 BMW PGA Championship | Preview | 20 May 2009
The famed Wentworth Golf Club at Virginia Water in Surrey will play host to the BMW PGA Championship for the 26th consecutive year when the event gets underway on Thursday of this week.
No longer the home of the World Match Play Championship, the BMW PGA Championship now provides the Harold Colt designed, Ernie Els redesigned Burma Road layout with its only tournament profile. This is one of European golf’s most significant events however and the star studded field will go a long way to ensuring one of Britain’s most renowned inland courses remains in the limelight.
Henrik Stenson has moved to the number 4 ranked player in world golf and following on from his breakthrough stroke-play PGA Tour win at the Players Championship, he arrives as one of the game’s most in form players at present. Despite finishing 7th two years ago this is not a venue that has been good to Stenson and he will need to overcome that hoodoo if he is to continue his progress.
Masters champion Angel Cabrera won this tournament in 2005 but since that significant win in his career he has gone on to win two major championships. In addition to winning that year he has often played well at Wentworth, finishing runner up in 2004 and 5th in 2007 and although he has been a little inconsistent of late he should do well.
Paul Casey has often played well in this event without ever really threatening to win. It is a golf course in which he has enjoyed success, however, that coming at the World Match Play Championship. Casey is in the middle of a very consistent patch of form and it would not surprise to see him add this title to the earlier success he has enjoyed at Wentworth.
Luke Donald has played this golf course well, recording two top tens in his last two starts including when 7th in 2007 and 3rd in 2008. He arrives back in Britain after what has been a good start to the PGA Tour season including when he finished runner up at the recent Verizon Heritage event.
Every now and again this tournament throws up a surprise winner and Anders Hansen fits into that category. He has won twice and his recent form is good enough for it not to be a surprise if he was to win again. He has won two events in 2009 this year both of those events coming in lesser fields in South Africa but he has played well enough since to be a threat again.
Retief Goosen has found some reasonable form once again and has played well on occasions at Wentworth while Robert Karlsson, who finished third last year, might enjoy the prospect of being back on the European Tour after several less than satisfactory weeks in the US.
The Australasian challenge is strong in numbers but perhaps not so strong in winning chances. Michael Campbell returns to one of his favourite and most successful tour stops but it would seem his game is in no shape to contend this year.
Mark Brown, Scott Strange, Richard Green, Brett Rumford, Marcus Fraser and Peter O’Malley make up the balance of the Australasians in the field.