Wentworth: Five to remember
Ahead of next week's BMW PGA Championship, we look back of five of the most memorable victories at Wentworth
By Matt Cooper. Last Updated: 16/05/13 7:10pm
Up until the mid-1980s the BMW PGA Championship travelled around the United Kingdom, but since Sky Sports' very own Howard Clark won the event in 1984 it has stayed put on the Wentworth Club's West Course.
In doing it has become one of the most popular venues in European Tour golf.
The tree-lined fairways have witnessed great battles taking place between the biggest names in the history of the game, but here is our pick of the best wins.
It includes one legend of the game, two players at the peak of their powers and two journeymen who experienced the most exciting week of their sporting lives at the home of European golf.
1988 - Ian Woosnam
1987 had been a superb year for the little Welshman - he won eight times worldwide, topped the European Tour's Order of Merit and became, in the process, the first golfer to win over $1 million in a calendar year. But his results in early 1988 were poor and there were whispers that his decision to change to Maruman clubs was not only cash-inspired but the root cause of his problems. The week before the PGA a concerned Woosnam was swinging in front of a hotel mirror when he identified an error, rectified it and immediately rediscovered his form. One shot behind Seve Ballesteros after 54 holes, Woosnam's 67 set a target the Spaniard couldn't match and by the end of 1988 Woosnam was top of the world rankings. The Wentworth win had set him on his way.
1991 - Seve Ballesteros
The great Spaniard won the World Matchplay five times on the West Course, but only once on the same course in the PGA Championship. Ahead of the week he was fretful and all too aware that he had repeatedly squandered title-winning opportunities during the previous 12 months. With three holes to play in the final round he led the field, only to find himself repeating the errors of his recent past. Trouble on the 16th and 17th holes left him needing a birdie on the 18th to force a play-off with Colin Montgomerie. His approach missed the green, but he chipped close and made the seven-foot birdie putt. Moments later his drive on the first extra hole crashed into a buggy, rebounding into the light rough. He took advantage of the good fortune, hit a 220-yard five-iron to three feet - one of the greatest shots of his career - and holed out for a sensational victory.
2000 - Colin Montgomerie
Wentworth will always be associated with the great names of European golf because throughout the 1980s and 90s all of them won either World Matchplay or PGA Championship titles there. But only one of them - Montgomerie - won a clean hat-trick of PGA victories. He started his run in 1998 with a one stroke triumph, 12 months later he trounced the field by five shots and when he arrived in 2000 he knew that the cream of European golf was in great form. Sergio Garcia, Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood challenged him, but pre-cut rounds of 67 and 65 gave the Scot a two-shot lead and he was in no mood to relinquish it. His golf that week was as good as it would ever be outside the Ryder Cup. In the final round Andrew Coltart closed the gap only for Montgomerie to step up a gear, adding birdies which created a three-shot lead that was never again threatened.
2004 - Scott Drummond
In the 21st century Wentworth has witnessed plenty of surprise winners, including Andrew Oldcorn, Ignacio Garrido and a pair of wins for Anders Hanson. But Drummond was the ultimate shock champion. Prior to his week of glory he had only twice finished in the top 40 on the European Tour, he was a debutant on the course and had missed seven out of eight cuts coming into the event. Rounds of 66-71-68 left him one shot off the lead held by Angel Cabrera. But Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Justin Rose and Ernie Els were all in contention so no-one expected the unassuming Scot to hang around and yet he did more than that. On day of low-scoring, Drummond holed just about every putt he lined up to complete a stunning round of 64, good enough for a life-changing two-shot win.
2010 - Simon Khan
Because the West Course was used twice a year on the European Tour for much of the 1980s and 90s it retains huge emotional impact for today's players. A perfect example was England's Simon Khan, who regularly attended events at the course as a child, watching his favourite player Seve Ballesteros from behind the ropes. Prior to the 2010 event controversial changes were undertaken and on the final day those alterations - plus dry, windy conditions - played havoc with the scoring. But Khan seemed oblivious. Seven shots adrift of the 54-hole lead, he completed a stunning round of 66 and then spent the best part of an hour waiting to see if anyone could match him. No-one could and he later reflected on an affinity for the venue that was entirely down to those inspirational memories of walking with the stars.
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