Stars target pars at the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am

5/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Chris Evans, Graeme McDowell and Vernon Kay  (Getty Images)
Chris Evans, Graeme McDowell and Vernon Kay (Getty Images)

A stellar line-up of celebrities will be teeing off alongside the world’s best golfers at this year’s BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am, taking place at Wentworth Club, Surrey, on Wednesday 22 May.

Confirmed celebrities from the worlds of football, cricket, tennis, rugby, horse racing, rowing and showbiz will be teaming up with The European Tour’s finest, including all 12 of Europe’s magnificent ‘Miracle at Medinah’ Ryder Cup Team,  to play the legendary West Course at Wentworth Club.  The Celebrity Pro-Am will take place the day before the BMW PGA Championship begins on Thursday 23 May.

Theo Walcott, Andriy Shevchenko, Gianfranco Zola, Aaron Ramsay, John Arne Riise, Harry Redknapp, Jamie Redknapp, Alan Hansen Ian Wright and Matt Le Tissier are just some of the footballers confirmed, while Sir Ian Botham, Andrew Strauss, Tim Henman, Boris Becker and Greg Rusedski will be swapping cricket bats and tennis rackets for golf clubs, adding cricket and tennis to the world-class line-up of sporting stars in attendance.

The sporting theme continues with an impressive squad from the world of rugby, including BMW Performance Team members Sir Clive Woodward and current England captain Chris Robshaw. Rugby World Cup winners Will Greenwood and Matt Dawson will also be joined by former Irish hooker, Keith Wood. Olympians Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent are also confirmed for the Celebrity Pro-Am, along with jockeys A P McCoy, Mick Fitzgerald and Carl Llewellyn, Vendee Globe sailor Alex Thompson and current DTM Champion Bruno Spengler. 

England rugby captain Robshaw, said: “I can’t wait to play in this year’s BMW PGA Celebrity Pro-Am tournament.  I’ve been to Wentworth a couple of times in the last few weeks and managed to sneak in a couple of cheeky rounds.  The course is fantastic and it’ll be great to go round with one of the Pros.  I don’t know who I’ll be playing with yet, but it should be fun.  There are quite a few sportsmen and women playing in this year’s Pro-Am – it’ll soon become clear which of us get out onto the golf course when we’re not training or playing.”

Jamie Birkmyre, Championship Director for the BMW PGA Championship, said: “We are delighted that so many stars from the worlds of sport and television will be competing alongside some of the world’s best golfers in this year’s Celebrity Pro-Am, which acts as the curtain-raiser to the main event. It’s always a great day; not just for the players and the celebrities, but also for the thousands of spectators who come along to watch them play in a relaxed, informal environment. The day will be a superb blend of world-class golf, sport and showbiz, with celebrities ranging from sporting legends, such as Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Ian Botham and England rugby captain Chris Robshaw, to Chris Evans, Sir Bruce Forsyth and stars of the screen.”

Graeme McDowell, who will be playing in the Celebrity Pro-Am with Chris Evans, said: “The BMW PGA Championship is always one of the highlights of the year, especially as it’s the European Tour’s flagship event, and the Pro-Am tournament on the Wednesday is great fun.  I’ll be playing with Chris Evans again this year and we’ll be joined by the two Super Swing Auction winners, who bid an incredible £126,500 for Children In Need on Chris’ Radio 2 Breakfast Show.  It’s going to be a great day at a great course.”

Paul McGinley, 2014 European Ryder Cup Team Captain and BMW Performance Team member, is also looking forward to the tournament curtain-raiser: “The BMW PGA Championship is a tournament which we all look forward to and the Pro-Am line-up for this year is exceptional. There are a lot of sporting stars, so I’m sure the competition will be fierce and fun at the same time. It’s always good fun and attracts a great crowd.”

From the world of TV and showbiz, Wentworth resident and Pro-Am veteran Sir Bruce Forsyth will this year be joined by his Strictly Come Dancing co-star Anton Du Beke. Radio 2 co-presenter Vassos Alexander, actor Philip Glenister and presenters Jeremy Kyle, Dan Walker and Steve Rider are also confirmed, with the ladies represented by model Jodie Kidd and Celebrity Mastermind Champion Naga Manchetty (whose chosen Mastermind subject was The Ryder Cup ), completing the line-up.

Advance tickets are selling fast on while reserved grandstand seating at the 18th green and limited on-site parking are already sold out. Children aged 16 and under will be admitted free of charge if accompanied by an adult ticket holder.

BMW Owners and Official Badge Holders will be able to park on site as in previous years, while pre-paid parking on Wentworth Estate is now completely sold out. All other ticket holders – and spectators turning up on the day to purchase tickets on the gate – will need to utilise a sophisticated Park and Ride system, being introduced this year to help facilitate the flow of traffic.

The new Park and Ride 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.

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