Is the BMW PGA Championship growing anywhere close to a fifth major?
No. 1 Lee Westwood didn't come out and say it, exactly, but he suggests it is his fifth major, and you can see how European Tour players might view it that way. It is their tour’s flagship event.
'The BMW PGA Championship is the biggest title that I play for outside of the majors,' Westwood says. 'It's bigger than the World Golf Championships because of what the tournament represents for us as the European Tour.'
There's no denying the BMW PGA Championship is growing in stature. The 470 total world ranking points it is projected to award this week is 100 more points than it awarded two years ago and about double the points it awarded in 2000. The BMW PGA winner will receive 64 world-ranking points, a fixed figure established by Official World Golf Ranking administrators. But the BMW PGA runner-up will receive 38.4 points. That's more than the winner of this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship will receive on the PGA Tour (38).
If you are using world-ranking points as your gauge, however, the BMW PGA still doesn’t compare to The Players Championship. The Players awarded 790 total world-ranking points this year. That’s roughly the same as it awarded in 2000.
Still, the BMW PGA Championship is rising in stature. The European Tour is billing this year's field as its strongest ever with all four reigning major championship winners playing in the event for the first time in history.