Rory McIlroy enters the BMW PGA Championship as the hottest player in the world, the No. 1 player in the world, and the defending tournament champion.
Has the pressure ever been on the other 153 players in a 154-man field?
Fresh off his wins at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and the Wells Fargo Championship, McIlroy will have an early tee time – 8:35 a.m. local time along with two-time US Open winner Martin Kaymer and 2014 Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson.
Played at the Wentworth Club’s West Course, the tournament has a €5 million grand prize and is the European Tour’s signature event.
McIlroy’s trio is hardly the only group of heavy hitters in the mix on Thursday and Friday. Twenty minutes prior, Andy Sullivan, Victor Dubuisson, and Ernie Els will take the course. Els is one of many golfers who have homes in the surrounding suburbs of Wentworth, and actually did some work on the course redesign about a decade ago.
Brooks Koepka, who won the European Tour’s rookie of the year award Tuesday night at the European Players Awards ceremony, leads one of the better afternoon trios, pairing up with Luke Donald and James Morrison, who won the Open de Espana on Sunday.