May 16th, 2017
Ian Poulter joins star-studded BMW at Wentworth
I believe the expression is 'Roll Up!, Roll Up!'
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: Getty Images
It’s all systems go again for Ian Poulter. After a rollercoaster few weeks in which he lost his tour card, had it reinstated over a technicality and then almost won the biggest tournament of his career at The Players, he has now received an invite to the BMW at Wentworth.
Poulter, who has won 12 times on the European Tour, has been pretty critical of the course over the years and this will be his first chance to see for himself all the changes at the Wentworth’s revamped West Course.
And, finally, after a few years of no-shows and pull outs, what a cracking line up it is. Poulter joins the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Beef, Thomas Pieters, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, Darren Clarke and Andy Sullivan. And there's plenty more where that came from so genuinely something for everyone this year.
“For me, to have played well last week and locked up everything in America has now freed my summer up," says Poults. "It means I can come back and play in some of the big events in Europe, which I’m really looking forward to.
“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.”