A great win for Chris Wood who came from 3 shots behind overnight to score a final round outward nine of 29 including 4 birdies and an eagle at the 4th. He had a wave of momentum driving him through an up and down back nine which caused him to play the 18th hole conservatively, laying up with two wedges to secure the win.
The tournament itself lacked the big names after Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose pulled out. Five years ago seven of the top ten in the world played, this year there was only one. The mention by European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley last November that this was no longer the tour’s flagship event seems to have had an impact, although sponsors BMW have assured the future of the event. It now seems that it’s all about Dubai.
Against the background of the dispute over Wentworth Club – talks are still ongoing about its future – and the Residents Committee asking the European Tour for £300,000 for use of the roads on the estate last week – the tour offered £100,000, whether the championship will stay at Wentworth is debatable. Former Chairman of the European Tour Board of Directors Neil Coles, the only European to win on tour in six different decades, has had his honorary membership of Wentworth Club rescinded. As has former European Tour Chief Executive Ken Schofield.It may not be long before the European Tour decants from its headquarters there.
Chief Executive Keith Pelley has said
“a sweeping change is coming to the European Tour in the next couple of years”.
He says that the tour will be transformed by 2018. He wants more playing opportunities, more tournaments over €7 million and with “players first”, a travel friendlier schedule.
As a championship host at Wentworth last week, I had a sad feeling that it could well be the last time the event is held at Wentworth. I hope I’m wrong.