Record field set for the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am
Story published at 10:54, Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
Some of the biggest names in sport, television and entertainment will come together at Wentworth Club on Wednesday May 25 for the BMW PGA Championship Celebrity Pro-Am.
A total of 77 celebrities from across the sporting and show business spectrums will join the cream of the European Tour for what has become one of the social highlights of the summer.
Notable names taking part range from cricketing greats Sir Ian Botham, Brian Lara, Kevin Pietersen and Shane Warne; to Rugby World Cup winners Mike Tindall and Will Greenwood; to Formula One world champions Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell; and Olympic gold medallists Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Steve Redgrave.
Television presenters Dan Walker, Piers Morgan and Vernon Kay, Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke, and Tim Henman – who has become a scratch handicap golfer since hanging up his tennis racket – will also descend on the famous Surrey venue to rub shoulders with some of the world’s greatest golfers, including Major Champions Justin Rose and Danny Willett.
Tickets to catch the action, priced at £13, are available from the official tournament website here: http://bmwpgachampionship.europeantour.com/bmw-pga-championship-tickets/ Willett, making his first appearance on home soil since winning the Masters Tournament, has been paired in the 1 p. m. session with former England cricketers Michael Vaughan and Graeme Swann, who play off handicaps of ten and six respectively.
Also playing in the afternoon session are former footballers Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, who will have Nottingham Forest fan Lee Westwood and chat show host Jeremy Kyle for company on the West Course.
Francesco Molinari, an avid Inter Milan fan, will be joined by single figure handicappers Ruud Gullit, Gianfranco Zola and Glenn Hoddle, all of whom managed Chelsea after ending their playing careers.
Meanwhile, rugby fans will be keen to follow Russell Knox’s group after the Scotsman was drawn with his compatriots Gavin Hastings and Stuart Hogg, plus arguably Ireland’s greatest ever player, Brian O’Driscoll.
Also at 1pm, wannabe rock star Tommy Fleetwood will be seeking singing advice from Ronan Keating and Tom Chaplin, the lead singer of Keane, who will be bringing the curtain down on the week with a concert on Sunday May 29.
With One Direction currently taking a break from music, Niall Horan will not be taking to the stage, but the keen golfer will be playing alongside Major Champion Justin Rose and Chelsea captain John Terry in the afternoon Pro-Am.
Founding member of Genesis Mike Rutherford, whose current band Mike and the Mechanics will also be playing at the Integro Show Stage at the conclusion of the Championship, will also take to the course alongside former Dire Straits bassist John Illsley and television actor Trevor Eve.
Notable groups in the morning session, which gets underway at 8am, include the footballing trio of Paul Scholes, Jamie Redknapp and Peter Schmeichel, who will be partnered by two-time BMW PGA Champion Luke Donald.
A footballing theme also runs through Thomas Bjørn’s group, as the Dane – a Liverpool supporter – will be joined by Matt Le Tissier and Anfield heroes Robbie Fowler and Gary McAllister.
Former jump jockeys Sir AP McCoy, Mick Fitzgerald and Carl Llewellyn will be expected to provide 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell with horse racing tips in exchange for short game advice when the quartet take to the course at 8am.
McDowell’s fellow Irishman Shane Lowry, a huge rugby fan, will be in his element having been paired with former Ireland captains Keith Wood and Paul O’Connell, who between them won 166 caps for their country.
The first round of the BMW PGA Championship gets underway on Thursday May 26, with tickets now available through the website.
European Tour www.europeantour.com