McIlroy & Co. to do battle at Wentworth this May for a purse which now totals €5million
The players contesting this year’s BMW PGA Championship will compete for more prize money than ever before, after the purse was increased to €5million ahead of the 61st edition of the European Tour’s flagship event.
The prize fund was €4.75million when Rory McIlroy secured victory last year, but it will increase by €250,000 when the world No.1 and four-time major winner returns to Wentworth Club’s famed West Course to defend his title from May 21-24.
O’Grady, the chief executive of the European Tour, commented: “It is a sure sign of the tournament’s pre-eminence on the European Tour international schedule that the prize fund for the BMW PGA Championship has been increased to €5m.
“We are delighted to be able to announce this significant increase, and are indebted to the continued support of BMW as the title sponsor. Since they came on board as the event’s title sponsor ten years ago, the prize fund has increased significantly, which is a sign both of their commitment and also the increasing prestige of this championship.”
Dr Ian Robertson, head of sales and marketing of BMW, added: “Over the decade of BMW’s title sponsorship, we have seen the stature of the PGA Championship grow year on year, and that is reflected in this latest increase to the prize fund.
“We are very proud to sponsor the European Tour’s flagship event, and delighted to have contributed to the ongoing development of this prestigious championship. With Rory McIlroy, pictured, defending his title and a record prize fund of €5million on offer, this year’s BMW PGA Championship is all set to write another exciting chapter in the tournament’s rich history.”
McIlroy succeeded Italian youngster MatteoManassero as champion after overturning a seven-shot deficit to Thomas Bjørn on the final day last year. The win was his sixth on the European Tour and kickstarted an incredible summer during which he won back-to-back majors at the Open Championship and PGA Championship, as well as his first World Golf Championship at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
The BMW PGA Championship was founded in 1955 by the Professional Golfers’ Association and was originally known as the British PGA Championship. It was played that first year and Pannal Golf Club, where England’s Ken Bousfield held off former Open champion Max Faulkner to win by two shots.
After being contested over various other courses, including Hunstanton and Royal Mid Surrey, it has been staged continuously at Wentworth since 1984.