Danny Willett, Billy Horschel and Tyrrell Hatton will compete at the 2022 BMW PGA Championship
Fourth DP World Tour Rolex Series event set for Wentworth in September
By Matt Smith
Billy Horschel knows he has a fight on his hands if he wants to retain his BMW PGA Championship title, as the American will need to fend off former winners Tyrrell Hatton and Danny Willett at the fourth Rolex Series tournament of the DP World Tour season, at Wentworth Club from September 8-11.
Horschel was a popular winner among the British fans last year when he birdied the famous 18th hole at Wentworth’s West Course to clinch a one-stroke victory and the 35-year-old is sure to receive a warm welcome when he returns to defend his crown.
Having become just the second American winner of the prestigious event, after Arnold Palmer in 1975, Horschel would be the first non-British player to successfully defend the title should he emerge victorious this September. The only players to have done so are Luke Donald (2011-2012), Colin Montgomerie (1998-1999-2000) and Nick Faldo (1980-1981).
“I cannot wait to return to defend my BMW PGA Championship title at Wentworth,” said Horschel, who finished second to Collin Morikawa in the 2021 DP World Tour Rankings. “It is a tournament which has always been close to my heart, so to win the way that I did, in front of the supportive crowds, was incredible.
“It will be so much fun stepping onto that first tee and being announced as the defending champion, and I have a really strong record at Wentworth so hopefully I can bring my A-game once again and put up a strong title defence.”
With Hatton and Wilett also confirming they will compete in the strong field, it means all of the last three champions will tee it up at Wentworth, Hatton having claimed the 2020 title while Willett won in 2019.
Two years ago, Hatton realised a boyhood dream when he sealed a four-stroke victory over Frenchman Victor Perez at the Surrey venue, which is less than 30 miles from where he grew up.
“The BMW PGA Championship is always one of my favourite weeks of the year,” he said. “It’s an event I regularly attended as a kid and one of those ones I always dreamed of just playing in, never mind winning.
“The event seems to just get bigger and bigger every year and the crowds are always really supportive. I also get to play in front of family and friends which is pretty special. It should be another great event.”
Willett, meanwhile, claimed his second Rolex Series title at the 2019 BMW PGA Championship, finishing three shots clear of Jon Rahm after a titanic weekend battle. It marked a return to form for the former Masters winner, who claimed his eighth DP World Tour title at the 2021 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
“My win in 2019 at the BMW PGA Championship was a really special moment in my career,” said the Englishman. “To win such a massive title in front of my whole family was pretty cool, and it’s always one of the first tournaments on my schedule when I’m planning out my season.
“The fans always make it an incredible atmosphere at Wentworth and give me a great reception so I’m looking forward to another fun week in September.”
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