May 16, 2017: Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter will be back on home soil next week when he gets his first chance to see Wentworth’s revamped West Course after receiving an invitation to play in the BMW PGA Championship (May 25-28), the first event in the European Tour’s new Rolex Series.
The 12-time European Tour winner, who missed four months of last season due to a foot injury, showed he is getting back to his best when he finished tied second in last week’s Players Championship on the US PGA Tour.
He is now looking forward to playing in front of home fans once again over the famous West Course, which has undergone a multi-million pound revamp since last year’s tournament.
Poulter, whose huge popularity with UK golf fans was underlined when he took on the role of tournament host of the 2015 British Masters supported by Sky Sports at his home club, Woburn, joins a world class field which includes four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy, Open Champion Henrik Stenson, Olympic Champion Justin Rose and defending champion Chris Wood.
“For me, to have played well last week and locked up everything in America has now freed my summer up and meant I can come back and play in some of the big events in Europe, which I’m really looking forward to,” said Poulter.
“Everyone on the European Tour has been incredibly supportive and that has helped me be free and clear on what I needed to do in my own mind.
“I would have loved to have won last week, and it’s still a disappointment not to have got that win, but the result means I can come back over and play in the BMW PGA Championship, and plan my summer schedule, and it will obviously be great to play in front of the British fans again.
“My form is good – I don’t feel like I’ve got a lot out of my game over the last few weeks – but I’ve been working hard and hopefully the results will follow.”
Poulter will be playing in the BMW PGA Championship for the 14th time, with his best finish so far a share of tenth position in 2012. He last played at Wentworth three years ago and has openly admitted he did not relish playing on the West Course’s old greens, so he is keen to see the impressive new putting surfaces which have been introduced on all 18 holes following extensive renovation work over the past 12 months.
The changes were carried out by Ernie Els Design and European Golf Design, working with an advisory group comprising Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjørn and David Jones, which acted on feedback from European Tour players.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the changes that have been made at Wentworth,” said Poulter. “Everything the guys – Thomas, Paul – have done to improve the course makes me want to jump back on a plane to the UK. It’s just what I need – the chance to come back to Britain and play some golf and enjoy it.
“It seems the changes they have made are what the West Course deserves and it is going back to its rightful self, so respect to the club, to the European Tour and to the guys involved for making those changes and I’m sure the players will enjoy playing it next week.”