Open Champion Francesco Molinari (pictured above) will defend the Rolex Series title which launched his incredible 2018 season when he returns to Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship from September 19-22.
The Italian finished two shots clear of his Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy last May to win the BMW PGA Championship, and he went on to win The Open Championship at Carnoustie in July and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai in November, while he also became the first European to claim five points out of five in a Ryder Cup as Europe defeated the United States at Le Golf National.
The 36 year old, who lives in London, has an impressive record at Wentworth, having previously finished runner up in 2017 – one of six top ten finishes he has recorded over the famous West Course since 2012. He admits it was a special feeling to finally land the prestigious title after being in contention so many times.
“I have some great memories of the BMW PGA Championship,” said Molinari, who has moved up to seventh in the world rankings following his recent win on the PGA Tour. “Every year the tournament is very special, particularly for me as an adopted Londoner, but last year was even more special for me.
“I showed up in good form, my prep went well and each day I got better and better until the climax on the Sunday when I played with Rory and managed to hold him off over the last few holes and get the win at a tournament where I had been in position many times before. It felt like a sense of closure to finally get it done and get that trophy.”
This year, the BMW PGA Championship moves from its traditional May date to September, and Molinari is looking forward to the switch, which he feels will help further bolster the world class field and will be beneficial to the West Course.
“The BMW PGA Championship is traditionally one of the best tournaments in Europe,” he said. “I’ve played it so many years and remember watching it on TV. It’s always great fun and it is a course that I love. Theoretically the course should be even better after the summer. It gives the team at Wentworth more time to get it into good shape, even though they did a great job anyway in May. Hopefully it will be sunny and warm, which makes it a great day out for the crowd as we always have an amazing turnout. We are going to have a great field this year. It’s one of those traditional events that we look forward to each season.”