After an exclusive practice round over Wentworth Club’s new-look West Course, the three-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington has announced that he intends to play in next month’s BMW PGA Championship after a two year absence.
Harrington, who made his debut in The European Tour’s flagship event in 1996, is delighted to be back at the Surrey venue where his best finish in the BMW PGA Championship was tied sixth in 2006.
The World Number 11 was bathed in sunshine as he played 18 holes over the famous course, which was closed for almost a year to undergo a re-design and modernisation under the direction of his fellow three-time Major winner, Ernie Els.
He said: “Having played the new West Course today, I’m very impressed with the changes that have been made and, in particular, I’m happy to see the way that the greens are now putting.”
Harrington, who once doubted he was competitive enough over the West Course, added: “I really want to win the BMW PGA Championship and look forward to coming back to Wentworth next month. “Once I heard that they were going to re-model the greens, I said that when that happens I’ll be one of the first there,” he added.
Harrington has enjoyed mixed results at Wentworth Club in the past, finishing sixth in 2006 and 11th in 2005 as well as reaching the final of the World Match Play Championship in 2001, going down 2 and 1 to Ian Woosnam.
Tim Abbott, Managing Director, BMW UK, said: “We are delighted to have Padraig Harrington back at the players’ flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, which underlines the prestige and status of the Championship. Padraig’s presence reinforces the world class nature of this year’s field.” Wentworth Club www.wentworthclub.com European Tour www.europeantour.com
Photo: Harrington plays new look 18th on West Course – by Charles Briscoe-Knight