Paul McGinley looks at the demands facing the players in the global golf schedule and reflects on a week to remember at the BMW PGA Championship.
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When you’re among the elite, top 50 in the world rankings you can pick and choose the tournaments you play and the prize funds in every event are incredible. It’s tough, but it’s a great problem to have in many ways.
The top end of the game is currently in a very healthy place, there’s no doubt about that. The schedule this year has been quite a bit different to previous years, and there are almost certain to be players taking a different route with next year’s calendar.
It was always going to take time for the new, condensed schedule to bed in, but I like the new structure. I know it’s had its critics, but the important thing for me is that the European Tour has a great chance to shine and attract world-class fields from September through to October.
It’s going to be even more condensed next year with the Olympics and the Ryder Cup to take into consideration for the top players, but I think this year has worked out quite well in general.
The players just need to figure out what works best for them. Some players relish playing a lot of tournaments, while some perform better when they’ve taken more time off.
This year we’ve had The Players moving to mid-March, and then the Masters was the first in a run of one major in each month, culminating with The Open in July, and I think that has been a good thing for the golfing calendar.
BMW PGA: R4 as it happened
Relive a dramatic final round from the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
It’s now up to the European Tour to make sure that September, October and November are very good months for them with strong fields in big events, including the four Rolex Series events we’ve got to come before the end of the season.
We’ve certainly had a fantastic turnout here at Wentworth, and it was great to see Tony Finau, Patrick Reed and Billy Horschel make the trip to enjoy their debuts in the European Tour’s flagship event.
They’ve all been impressed with the course and everything that comes with the BMW PGA Championship, and I have no doubt that we will see an even stronger American contingent coming to Wentworth in September next year.
The new date has gone down well with the players, and I’d expect to see the field just get stronger and stronger in years to come. Finau, Reed and Horschel know the quality of the golf course here, as well as the rich history of the tournament, which will only flourish being in the autumn.