Rory wins first tournament after two years

Rory McIlroy, the young Northern Irishman, has won his first tournament after two years. On the weekend he came up first at the prestigious BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, outside of London.

Last year I was on-site to see Matteo Manassero win, this year I was able to follow the TV coverage a bit. I have to say I was cheering for Martin Kaymer or Luke Donald, the latter who really had a chance to win but missed it on the very last hole to Rory.

What a pressure this young fellow must have been under the whole time! He changed his equipment from Titleist to Nike, undoubtedly just for the money… fair enough, but he lost his swing somehow, he forgot to be able to win. Some experts like Nick Faldo said he’ll never be as good as before.

Then he dated Caroline Wozniacki, the tennis player, and he seemed to be really happy. Not with his game, but his private life apparently came to order. Now just last week he called off the wedding to the young lady and left her in tears I’m sure, as he felt he’s not ready for a marriage yet. That was after they posted their wedding invitations of course… bad timing!

However, he must have had his mind full of different (frustrating) things – and then out of nothing – he wins a tournament, probably the best and toughest tournament of the European Tour, the flagship event: the BMW PGA Championship! What a story!

I wish him every luck, private and professional, and I do hope to see him win again to join the European Ryder Cup team later this year! Fingers crossed.

Congratulations Rory McIlroy!!

Ball Showcase: Wentworth Club

The good thing about living in England is there are plenty of golf courses. Admittedly there are only a handful in the close proximity of Central London and on the other hand they are usually high class and very expensive or even private courses.

World-famous courses like Sunningdale, Birkdale, Stoke Park are all situated just south-west of London, in the wealthy suburbs of the British capital. Another well-known course in exactly that area is the Wentworth Club, a private property which not only hosts the European Tour HQ and some private residences of super rich and top notch golfers (like Ernie Els) but it as well hosts the annual flagship event of European golf: the BMW PGA Championship on the West Course.

This year I was lucky enough to go there on the final tournament day, watching all these great players, getting close and really inhale the spirit of the game (see the related blog post). Unfortunately I wasn’t playing the course yet but at least I could wander the famous turf, sit on the grand stand when Matteo Manassero holed his winning putt and could spend a fortune in the club house pro shop. That should do for a while… until some day… you never know! What a great day anyway!

Continue reading Ball Showcase: Wentworth Club

Final day of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, England

Last Sunday I made my way from East London to the affluent area of (south-) west of London. We’re talking here about famous names like Windsor, Ascot, Virginia Water and last but not least Wentworth, the posh estate in the middle of a beautiful forest with loads of multi-million properties and, not of minor importance, home to the prestigious Wentworth Golf Club.

The West Course at this club is host to the annual BMW PGA Championship which is one of the most important European Tour events as Wentworth is also the home the tour itself – therefore it’s kind of a flagship event for Europe.

DSC06416I haven’t been to many professional golf tournaments so far and there are advantages to watching it on telly and there are disadvantages but it’s always a special feeling and an exhausting experience somehow. Especially at Wentworth where the course layout is more or less a circle, it’s not easily possible to flip between holes to see your favourite players. Here I had to stick to the round and all I could do was walking quicker or waiting for the next group to come.

I started at the 1 with Bernd Wiesberger and followed him for like 3 or 4 holes. Then I waited for the next group which was Gregory Bourdy and one of my idols, The Big Easy Ernie Els. He used to be a resident at this estate and was responsible for a re-design of the course a couple of years back. So as a South-African, with houses all over the world, Ernie was walking home turf here! And it was a big joy to see him play – it really looks so easy!

After following this group to the 17th I made myself comfortable and watched all the other players coming through: Quiros, Jiménez, Garcia, the Molinaris, Westwood, Canizares and last but not least Manassero. The rest of the tournament, basically for the 4 extra-playoff holes, I had a seat on the grand stand right at the 18th green. A perfect place to follow the playoff action!

Needless to say that I did some extensive shopping in the pro shop…

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