Tony Finau, Patrick Reed and Billy Horschel are the three big American names featuring in this week’s BMW PGA Championship, but should more of their compatriots have made the trip?
The Wentworth showpiece moving to September is more ideal for those on the PGA Tour wishing to sample some big-tournament atmosphere on the European Tour, so Rich Beem is surprised that so few made the journey …
It’s nice to see the American guys coming over here and experiencing the BMW PGA but, to be honest, I kind of expected to see a few more here at Wentworth.
Kevin Kisner took up European Tour membership, Xander Schauffele played in the Porsche European Open recently, so it’s a little strange why they wouldn’t want to play here, particularly given the tournament’s new date in the schedule.
So to have only Tony Finau, Patrick Reed and Billy Horschel from the big-name PGA Tour stars here, to me that seems a little weak.
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Obviously, there are a number of European players who play more on the PGA Tour than the European Tour that are at Wentworth, but I’m surprised there are not more Americans, to be honest.
Tony gets the need to play more outside of the US. He said in his press conference earlier that to be a truly world-class player, you need to play worldwide. It’s nice to see him come out of the ‘comfort zone’ of the PGA Tour and broaden his horizons, and he’ll be a better player for it.
Billy Horschel is making his first appearance here, and I think he’s been a bit surprised by the scale of this event. He described this tournament as having a “major feel” about it, and it’s good to hear him say that.
Maybe those comments will attract more of his compatriots to come over in the future, but we’ll have to wait and see. The prospect of travelling a long way to play in cooler conditions in a different environment will not appeal to all, although some might want to get out of the heat!
But Billy is right about the major feel about the place. I’ve played it before in May, but being here in the autumn it seems to have a different atmosphere, and the strength of the field this week is obviously fantastic.