Europe’s magnificent Ryder Cup Team, which will forever be associated with the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ last year, will be reunited for the first time on European soil since that dramatic day in Chicago when all 12 players and their captain José Maria Olazábal tee up in the BMW PGA Championship 2013.
The West Course at Wentworth Club will be the stage for golf fans to enjoy a belated celebration of that epic comeback when the ‘twelve good men and true’ attempt to capture The European Tour’s flagship event in front of another huge crowd from May 23-26.
Led by World Number Two, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, and defending champion, Luke Donald of England, who is seeking to emulate Colin Montgomerie’s record of three consecutive victories, the Ryder Cup heroes and their inspiring leader, Olazábal, should guarantee a sense of excitement and electrifying atmosphere at the Surrey venue.
Winning captain Olazábal welcomed the news that his team will assemble once more at Wentworth Club and commented: “I am delighted that the British public will get the chance to see all of my Ryder Cup team in action at Wentworth in May. Medinah was an unforgettable experience for everyone who was there, whether it was as a player, captain or spectator, and the BMW PGA Championship is the perfect setting for the players to be reunited to show what they can do as individuals as opposed to the team environment. It promises to be a great tournament.”
McIlroy is relishing the chance to get together with his team-mates again, even though, on this occasion, they are intense rivals chasing the record first prize of €791,660 from the increased prize fund of €4.75 million.
“It will be great to have The Ryder Cup Team back together for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth,” he said. “It was such a special Ryder Cup, one that will have a special place in history, and I don’t think anyone associated with that Team will ever get tired of celebrating it.”
McIlroy’s fellow Northern Irishman and Major champion, Graeme McDowell, added: “Any time the Tour gets a winning Ryder Cup Team together is pretty special, but this year will have that little bit extra because of the nature in which that particular Ryder Cup was won. To be a part Europe’s biggest ever comeback was just an amazing honour, and I am sure there will be nice Ryder Cup vibe to the BMW PGA Championship this year.”
Justin Rose, who lost to Anders Hansen in a play-off in 2007 and was tied second with another of the Medinah marvel, Paul Lawrie, last year, enthused: “The BMW PGA is one of the best tournaments of the year and, for European Tour Members, it’s our big show, the one where we display what our Tour is all about so it’s one that I think every player has an eye on throughout the year and one that we all get going for.”
Ryder Cup rookie Nicolas Colsaerts cannot wait for the chance to get together with his fellow history-makers in May. He said: “It’s going to be cool to have the Team back together. The way golf is nowadays and with everybody playing all over the world, it’s pretty rare to get all of the guys together so to have us all in one place at the home of The European Tour will be great.”
Heroes of Medinah abound, from the talismanic Ian Poulter to BMW Ambassador, Martin Kaymer, who holed the vital putt which ensured Europe retained the trophy, will be back at Wentworth Club aiming to add the BMW PGA title to the BMW International Open crown he claimed in 2008.
Also lapping up the superb atmosphere created by the Tour’s flagship event will be Francesco Molinari – whose half point secured the outright win – six-time Ryder Cup winner Lee Westwood, former Open Champion Paul Lawrie and Sweden’s Peter Hanson while there is sure to be a special ‘welcome back’ to Sergio Garcia, who last competed in the event in 2000.
A superb package of fun, celebrity-spotting and world class golf will take place over a six-day period, from May 21-26, representing outstanding value for practice day, celebrity pro-am day and the four rounds of the event.
Advance tickets are selling fast on www.europeantour.com/tickets
while reserved grandstand seating at the 18th green and limited on-site parking are already sold out. A limited number of additional grandstand seats for Saturday and Sunday are now on sale on a first come, first served basis. Children aged 16 and under will be admitted free of charge if accompanied by an adult ticket holder.
This year sees the introduction of a new Park and Ride system to help facilitate the flow of traffic. The system will operate from two locations – one near Sunningdale, carrying traffic from the west (M3 and M4) and one at the Review Ground, Windsor Great Park, which is east of the tournament venue close to the M25. Both parks will operate free shuttle bus service to Wentworth Club every five minutes with the journey time taking around ten minutes and allowing easy access to a new Welcome Pavilion through the Tented Village.
Follow all the news on BMW golf activities on www.bmw-golfsport.com