Some of the biggest names in sport, music, TV and radio will become part of a very anxious supporting cast on Wednesday (May 21), when more than 50 celebrities tee off alongside many of the world’s best golfers in the BMW PGA Championship Celebrity Pro-Am.
The stellar mix of celebrities and professional golfers is poised to attract huge crowds to Wentworth Club’s famous West Course, who can see close up just how iconic figures from football, rugby, cricket, racing and showbiz cope with the nerve-wracking business of wielding a golf club in the company of Major Champions and former World Number Ones.
Today’s announcement of the line-ups for Wednesday is sure to provide keen interest for the spectating public, who will watch sporting icons enjoy the thrill of the Pro-Am in a way no other high level sport can achieve.
This prestigious event is now firmly established as the official curtain raiser to the BMW PGA Championship and has provided some classic line-ups.
Two-time Major Champion and lifelong Manchester United supporter Rory McIlroy will be joined by former Red Devils players Peter Schmeichel, Teddy Sheringham and Phil Neville, while Francesco Molinari will play alongside Italian football legends Gianfranco Zola and Daniele Massaro, with Andriy Shevchenko completing the Molinari four-ball.
Englishman David Howell will be tackling the West Course with an all-rugby team, made up of England captain Chris Robshaw, Mike Tindall and Zinzan Brooke, while Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Chris Evans and sports presenter Vassos Alexander will lead the charge in the afternoon session, playing with Ernie Els and Justin Rose respectively along with the winners of the Children In Need auction prize.
Sergio Garcia and Raphael Jacquelin should have no slow play issues as they partner F1 World Champions Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill respectively. There will be some Gallic flair with ex-footballer David Ginola joining forces with Victor Dubuisson, while Luke Donald won’t need a bail out shot with Knights of the Realm Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent in his team.
Olympic curling medallist Eve Muirhead, a single figure golfer, will swap her broom for golf clubs to partner Swede Jonas Blixt, while Welshman Jamie Donaldson can expect excellent service and a smashing time with his partners, Tim Henman and Andrew Castle.
Ian Poulter and Jodie Kidd’s team will no doubt be pitch perfect with Keane lead singer Tom Chaplin and Genesis’s Mike Rutherford in their four-ball. And the teams aren’t just playing for pride - one of several fundraising initiatives on the day includes a ‘hit the green’ competition, helping to raise funds for the tournament’s Official Charity, Challengers.
|The full line up of professional / celebrity teams is as follows:|
|Morning Session - Shotgun start, teeing off at 08.00hrs:|
|Henrik Stenson||Greg Rusedski, John Arne Riise|
|Paul McGinley||Andrew Cotter|
|Sergio Garcia||Sir Clive Woodward, Nigel Mansell, Rob Bonnet|
|Raphael Jacquelin||Damon Hill, Jamie Redknapp|
|Brett Rumford||Andrew Strauss, Darren Gough, Mark Nicholas|
|Robert Karlsson||Liam Botham|
|Rafa Cabrera-Bello||Jay Tabb, Oakley King of The Greens|
|Padraig Harrington||AP McCoy, Mick Fitzgerald, Carl Llewellyn|
|Paul Lawrie||Jeremy Kyle, Mark Austin|
|Chris Wood||Sir Ian Botham, Allan Lamb, Brian Lara|
|Tommy Fleetwood||Matt Le Tissier, Willie Thorne, Ady Williams|
|Luke Donald||Sir Matthew Pinsent, Sir Steve Redgrave|
|Ian Poulter||Mike Rutherford, Tom Chaplin, Jodie Kidd|
|Afternoon Session - Shotgun Start, teeing off at 13.00hrs:|
|Matteo Manassero||Ben Foden|
|Rory McIlroy||Peter Schmeichel, Phil Neville, Teddy Sheringham|
|José-Maria Olazábal||Sir Bruce Forsyth, Anton Du Beke|
|Lee Westwood||Glen Hoddle|
|Charl Schwartzel||JP McManus|
|Thorbjorn Olesen||Dan Walker, Tiff Needell, Rishi Persad|
|David Howell||Chris Robshaw, Mike Tindall, Zinzan Brooke|
|Francesco Molinari||Gianfranco Zola, Andriy Shevchenko, Daniele Massaro|
|Jonas Blixt||Eve Muirhead, Jason Atherton, Mike Hay|
|Jamie Donaldson||Tim Henman, Andrew Castle|
|Victor Dubuisson||David Ginola|
|Retief Goosen||Jonathan Davies|
|Justin Rose||Vassos Alexander|
|Ernie Els||Chris Evans|
The first group of teams will get underway at 08.00hrs on Wednesday morning, with a shotgun start around the West Course. The afternoon session will commence at 13.00hrs. The Pro-Am will once again feature the “Use Your Pro” ruling, giving amateur players the opportunity to call on their professional team-mate to play them out of trouble (at least that is the theory!). Each amateur is entitled to “Use Your Pro” once in the round and call on their Pro whenever they want; whether it be in an emergency, as a result of a wayward shot, or tactically, to get it up on the green on some of the longer, trickier, Par Threes.
Jamie Birkmyre, Championship Director of the BMW PGA Championship, said: “We are delighted to welcome such a fantastic line-up of celebrities for this year’s celebrity Pro-Am and the fact that so many join us is testament to the quality of the event. It is an enormously popular day with players, celebrities and spectators, who have the opportunity to watch some of the world’s greatest golfers in action while celebrity spotting at the same time!”
Peter Walker, General Manager of BMW Sports Marketing, said: “The BMW PGA Championship celebrity Pro-Am has become an event in its own right and is incredibly popular with spectators. It is a fantastic day and a great opportunity for fans to see their golfing heroes in action, while having some fun with the celebrities, who are very good players themselves.”
Tickets for all six days of the BMW PGA Championship, running from May 20-25, are available to purchase on the gate. Children U16 will be admitted free of charge if accompanied by an adult ticket holder.
BMW Owners and official badge holders will be able to park onsite, as in previous years. All other spectators will be directed to the nearest Park and Ride location.
Follow all the news on BMW Golf activities on www.bmw-golfsport.com