First of all, a quick look back at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson, our last ever visit to TPC Four Seasons before the tournament moves to a new venue in 2018.
This is a golf course that we’ve been coming to for a number of years and, obviously, being a former champion there makes it a special place for me. So it was nice to put together four decent rounds of golf, making 12 birdies and an eagle, and twice breaking 70. It’s all about generating positive momentum and building on it now, so I am excited to play again this week in Europe.
Just a couple of other mentions from Texas. Big congrats to Billy Horschel, his first win on the PGA TOUR in a while, so that will feel pretty sweet. In contrast, we were all touched by the news of our friend John Senden who announced that’s he’ll be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the PGA TOUR as his 13-year-old son Jacob has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. John’s fellow Aussie Steven Bowditch came up with an idea for us to show our support by wearing on our caps a patch resembling a Rubik’s Cube, which is Jacob’s favourite toy. News such as this…man, it always makes you think. We’re chasing birdies and trying to beat each other out here, but we also know when to pull together in friendship and support. The charitable spirit runs deep on the PGA TOUR.
This week we switch from the PGA TOUR across to the UK for the BMW PGA Championship at historic Wentworth Club. This is the flagship tournament on the European Tour and also the start of the new Rolex Series, an exciting new alliance of leading tournaments. It’s a wonderful initiative with an iconic brand that has been synonymous with professional golf for more than 50 years. There’s no doubt this will strengthen the European Tour for years to come, so well done to everyone involved.
As you’ll have perhaps read on here, Wentworth recently hosted a media day to celebrate the re-opening of the West Course (full story here). Everyone involved in this renovation project is so passionate about the West Course and needless to say I include myself in that. It’s a place that is very close to my heart, so it’s exciting to see where it’s at now. Hats off to the team at Ernie Els Design on the completion of this latest phase of works. Big thanks also to our partners at the European Tour and at European Golf Design.
Everything is in place for a great week. The golf course is in incredible shape, the greens are pure, and the weather forecast in the London area is just perfect. Also, the fans here come out in huge numbers every year so the atmosphere is always very special. Honestly, everything about this tournament is world class. We kick things off with the Pro Am on Wednesday with Kevin Pietersen, Piers Morgan and Brian Lara, so that’s going to be a lot of fun. Then the serious business starts on Thursday, obviously!
Finally, we just want to say thanks to the 128 golfers who took part in our latest Drive to SA Open day at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Pearl Valley Golf Club. My good friend Nico Van Rensburg, who organises this series, tells me it was a picture-perfect day in Cape Town and everyone had a wonderful day (pictured below). Congrats to the winners, Karl Strazaker and his 85-year old partner Buddy Wodbourne who scored 49 points. That’s some going! They qualify to play in the final at Highland Gate on 15-16 November where they’ll compete with all the other tournament winners for a place in the SA Open Pro Am. Our next event is 25 May at Houghton followed by 1 June at Royal Jhb. Click here for details.
Okay, that’s it for now. Follow me on Twitter @TheBig_Easy.