Ryder Cup player, Paul Casey, and BMW Williams FI driver, Nick Heidfeld, helped drive the BMW Championship – the PGA Championship – into a new era at The Wentworth Club, Surrey, today.
Heidfeld and Casey drove up to Wentworth Club’s elegant clubhouse in a BMW Williams F1 car and a Formula BMW car respectively to celebrate the first year of BMW’s sponsorship of The European Tour’s flagship event.
The golfer and Formula 1 driver created quite a stir when they arrived at the media day attended by TV crews and over 60 of Britain’s leading golf writers and photographers. Both took time out to speak to the assembled media before teeing up on the famous West Course, where the first BMW Championship is to be staged from May 26-29.
“BMW play a prominent role in both Formula 1 and professional golf so we thought it would be a good idea to combine the two for this occasion,” said Peter Walker, General Manager Sports Marketing Events for BMW UK.
“Paul loves his motor sport so he jumped at the chance to drive a Formula BMW car and Nick is a keen golfer so was delighted to get a game on the West Course.”
This year’s BMW Championship has attracted a stellar field that includes many of the game’s leading golfers. World Number Three Ernie Els, and World Number Five Retief Goosen have entered along with Casey, Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Nick Faldo, Peter Lonard, Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter and many more international stars.
In recent years BMW has become The European Tour’s biggest supporter. The German car company is the title sponsor of three European Tour events – the BMW Championship, the BMW International Open and the BMW Asian Open – and is the Official Car of The European Tour.
BMW also sponsors the Italian Open on the Ladies European Tour and runs the BMW International Golf Cup which annually attracts more than 100,000 amateur entrants from over 40 different countries.