Befitting the largest purse outside the Open Championship, the entry list is a virtual who's who of European Tour stars past and present headlined by a long list of big names including four of the top-10 ranked players in the world in Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Adam Scott and Luke Donald.
Els, who owns a home on the course and was a part of the redesign of the West Course, returns to the site of some of his biggest career wins, although not one coming in this perticular event. Els has won a record six HSBC World Match Play titles here at Wentworth but hopes to end his drought at the BMW Championship, where he has compiled a record of five top-5 finishes including three runner-up efforts.
Along with the abovementioned top ranked golfers an addition six players ranked in the top-25 are also set to tee it up in Surrey starting with the tour's reigning Order of Merit champion and a three-time winner of this event Colin Montgomerie. Monty, who won the title in three successive years from 1998 to 2000, will be trying to match Nick Faldo's record of four titles in the event.
Michael Campbell, Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie, whose hugely successful careers are imprinted on the rolling fairways of the magnificent West Course at Wentworth Club, have all confirmed their participation in the BMW Championship ' The Players Flagship from May 25-28, 2006.
The New Zealander, South African and Scotsman have won a total of 11 titles between them over the West Course but some new challenges lie in wait for them this year.
Under the guidance of Els, who has won a record six HSBC World Match Play Championships at the famous Surrey estate he calls home, the West Course has been remodelled to meet the demands of the modern-day golfer.
Speaking about the project, Els said: This has always been a great golf course, but times have changed. The West Course is nearly 80 years old and my brief, along with Chris Kennedy and the guys at Wentworth, was to ensure it remains a fitting challenge for the professional who plays in the tournaments as well as the members and the many amateur golfers for whom it is always a special experience to come here. I think weve succeeded in what we set out to do.
Montgomerie, for one, is keen to embrace the new challenges as he attempts to equal Nick Faldos record of four stroke play wins at Wentworth Club.
You always return to somewhere you won three years in a row with a good feeling and I have always felt very comfortable playing at Wentworth, said the 42 year old Scot. Even with the changes, I dont think that will be any different this year and I will be trying very hard to get win number four.
Montgomerie won the PGA Championship three times in a row between 1998 and 2000 and added the HSBC World Match Play Championship in 1999 for good measure, while Campbell, the US Open Champion, registered his first success at Wentworth Club when he beat Paul McGinley 2 & 1 in the final of the World Match Play Championship last September.