Els Feels Right at Home at Wentworth

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
The European Tour gears up for one of the tour's flagship events as a star-studded field descends upon Wentworth Clubs West Course in Surrey, England, for the BMW Championship.
 
Formerly the Volvo PGA Championship, the newly named event can boast one of the strongest fields of the year outside of the Open Championship in July.
 
Ernie Els, who owns a home on the estate and just recently accepted the club's offer to become its official touring professional, will be in search of his first title at the event. The Big Easy has put together a solid resume here despite never winning it outright. The last two years he placed 7th and 4th to go along with his three other runner-up finishes, coming back in 1994, '97 and '98.
 
That's not to say Els hasn't tasted success on this course, as shown by his remarkable three straight wins in the HSBC World Match Play Championship, which are played on the same course as this week's tournament.
 
A win by Els would put him into lofty company as far as past champions of this event are concerned. The list of former winners reads like a who's who of the recent history of the European Tour.
 
Six-time major winner Nick Faldo holds the mark for most wins in this event with four, though his last victory came back in 1989. Faldo is followed by Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, who won three straight titles here from 1998 to 2000. They are joined by Euro legends Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, Ian Woosnam and Germany's Bernhard Langer. All but Olazabal have at least two victories under their belt.
 
Faldo, Woosnam, Olazabal and Monty are all entered this week.
 
And although the history of winners is impressive, the past four years have generated champions that aren't on the same level as the aforementioned group. Scott Drummond, Ignacio Garrido, Anders Hansen and Andrew Oldcorn have each come out from behind the shadows of some of the world's best to claim the last four titles.
 
But that won't likely happen again with the likes Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, David Howell, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Thomas Levet, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood all shooting to bring home one of the biggest purses of the year.
 
Last year Drummond fired a final-round 8-under 64 to edge claim his first-ever European Tour victory. He is back to try to defend the title.
 
The total purse is $5,031,450 with a first-place check of $838,718.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - BMW Championship
  • Getty Images

    Garcia among bubble boys keeping playoff hopes alive

    By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 12:34 am

    Sergio Garcia gave himself a chance to keep his perfect FedEx Cup Playoffs record going with his rally Friday at the Wyndham Championship.

    D.A. Points moved into position to make a historic leap into the postseason.

    And Johnson Wagner dunked his last shot of the day from long range to keep his hopes of making the playoffs alive.

    But the day didn’t end nearly as well for Tyrone Van Aswegen’s FedEx Cup hopes.

    Van Aswegen didn’t do himself any favors trying to hold on to the 125th spot on the FedEx Cup points list. He missed the cut by a shot.

    Only the top 125 advance to The Northern Trust and next week’s start to the playoffs.

    Van Aswegen wasn’t alone among “bubble boys” missing the cut. No. 122 Jhonattan Vegas, No. 123 Seamus Power, No. 124 Martin Piller, No. 126 Chad Campbell and No. 127 Robert Garrigus all failed to make the weekend.

    Garcia is among 13 players who have advanced to the FedEx Cup Playoffs every year since they began in 2007, but his run was in jeopardy of ending starting the week. He’s 131st on the FedEx Cup points list

    With a 65 Friday following his opening round 66, Garcia is in more than a great position to advance. He’s in position to win the Wyndham. He is tied for fourth, five shots off the lead. The day ended with Garcia projected to move up to 118th on the FedEx Cup points list.


    Wyndham Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

    Current FedExCup points list


    “I'm just going to try to keep building on the things that I did well these first two days,” Garcia said. “Whatever happens, happens. Like I said at the beginning of the week, if I have a great weekend, then it will be great. If I don't have a great weekend, it will still be great because

    I'll get to rest.”

    Points started the week 214th on the FedEx Cup points list. With back-to-back 64s, he trails only Brandt Snedeker going into the weekend. He’s projected to move to 81st in points. Nobody has ever started the Wyndham Championship that far back in points and qualified for the playoffs. Davis Love III was 186th when he won and advanced in 2015.

    Wagner, 136th on the FedEx Cup points list, went to spectacular lengths Friday to keep his playoff hopes alive. He was outside the cut line until holing his 153-yard approach at the last.

    Bill Haas, who is among those 13 players to have qualified for the playoffs every year, started the week 150th in points. He can keep his perfect playoff record going with a big weekend. He shot 68 Friday to make the cut. He’s tied for 52nd in the tournament.

    Getty Images

    Points two back after missing 16 of 17 cuts

    By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:54 pm

    What’s the better story come Sunday?

    Brandt Snedeker turning his 59 in the opening round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship?

    Or D.A. Points winning after missing 16 cuts in his last 17 starts?

    They’re both scripts in the works at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

    Points, who has been struggling this season with a herniated disc that causes numbness in his fingers, has broken through his season-long funk to shoot back-to-back 64s. He starts the weekend in second place, two shots behind Snedeker.


    Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “It's been difficult,” Points said of his slump. “It's been hard on my family. I was in this position a couple years ago, and I clawed my way back and won in Puerto Rico.

    “I had that big downturn, and I clawed my way out of it just to find myself way back down in another deep hole again.”

    Points, 41, is a three-time PGA Tour winner. He won his first title playing alongside Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2011 and two years later won the Shell Houston Open. He slipped into a three-year funk after that, before rebuilding his game and winning the Puerto Rico Open last year.

    “Hopefully, this is my way of starting to claw back out,” Points said.

    Getty Images

    New 'Mr. 59' Snedeker needs Day 2 rally to keep Wyndham lead

    By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:24 pm

    Brandt Snedeker struggled coming off the emotional high that comes with shooting 59, but it didn’t stop him from rallying Friday to try to turn his historic round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship.

    After a sluggish start to the second round, Snedeker caught fire on the back nine at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., to take the lead going into the weekend.

    With a 3-under 67, Snedeker moved to 14 under overall, two shots ahead of D.A. Points (64).

    “I knew it was going to be tough” Snedeker said. “It wasn't going to be the same way it was yesterday. Kind of battling the emotion of everybody pulling hard for you, wanting to see you do it again. So the front nine was disappointing.”

    A day after becoming the ninth player in PGA Tour history to post a sub-60 tournament round, Snedeker opened with three bogeys and two birdies on the front nine. He said it was a struggle to begin anew.


    Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “You hear people telling you every two seconds, `Mr. 59,’ or saying how cool it was to watch it,” Snedeker said. “Phone's still blowing up this morning, guys in the locker room are still talking to me about it. So, yes, totally on your mind. You can't ignore it. You can't try to forget about it. Hardest thing is trying to get back into a rhythm.”

    Snedeker did with an eagle and two birdies on the back nine. Rolling in a 30-foot eagle putt at the 15th gave him back the lead he lost earlier in the round.

    “To see that go in was huge,” Snedeker said.

    Not every player to break 60 on the PGA Tour has gone on to win. In fact, Snedeker is looking to become just the fifth player to do so.

    Getty Images

    Garwood (64) leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open

    By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 9:53 pm

    ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Doug Garwood birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead Friday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

    The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes - the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club - in 6-under 31.

    ''Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,'' Garwood said. ''I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,'' Garwood said. ''That's always a good thing.''

    He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.


    Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open


    "I haven't been playing great this year, but I've been working hard on my game and things I've been working on are paying off,'' Garwood said. ''My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don't think about too far in advance because you really can't control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It's just about the tee shot on No. 1.''

    Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson shot 65, Woody Austin and Clark Dennis followed at 66, and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis were at 67.

    ''It was a good day,'' Bradley said. ''I've traditionally not driven the ball well here and you've got to drive the ball good here to shoot a good score. I drove the ball well and made a few putts, so that was that.''

    Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68. Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.

    Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.