KOHLER, Wisc. — Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm react on the ninth green during practice rounds prior to the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 23, 2021. | Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Rahm and McIlroy, the two best European golfers on the planet, will play in the DP World Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship.
The tournament is now played in September after the American PGA Championship moved from August to mid-May in 2019.
The renowned Wentworth Club, located in Surrey, southwest of London, has hosted this tournament annually since 1984, and is considered one of the best courses in Europe.
The DP World Tour also calls Wentworth its home, hence why the BMW PGA Championship has one of the largest purses of any European tournament.
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SURREY, England — Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his second shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club on September 11, 2022.
Last year, McIlroy and Rahm finished one stroke behind champion Shane Lowry as the Irishman prevailed against a stacked field.
The 2022 edition was shortened to 54 holes, as Friday’s second round was canceled due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
This year, the BMW PGA Championships falls two weeks ahead of the 44th Ryder Cup matches, which will be contested on European soil for the first time in five years.
Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, Italy, will host this year’s bi-annual competition.
In 2018, the Europeans steam-rolled the favored American side in Paris 17.5-to-10.5, as Rahm defeated Tiger Woods 2 & 1 in the Sunday singles to help Europe win on home soil again.
With the pandemic postponing the competition for a year, the Americans bounced back with a vengeance in 2021. Team USA won at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin by a resounding score of 19-to-9.
The United States is now focused on winning the Cup in Europe for the first time since 1993.
But many notable European players will tee it up at the BMW PGA Championship a few weeks before.
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SURREY, England — Jon Rahm of Spain celebrates after sinking an eagle putt on the 18th hole during Round Three on Day Four of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club on September 11, 2022.
Surely, European Ryder Cup plans will be discussed at the famous English venue, and final preparations for the competition could be made.
Even though Team Europe enters the 44th Ryder Cup as home underdogs, the Europeans always play well on their home turf, even when the odds are stacked against them.
The BMW PGA Championship will serve as an important thermometer to assess the play of top European players.
Perhaps McIlroy will win again, as he last won this event in 2014. Or maybe Jon Rahm, who finished runner-up in 2019 and 2022 at Wentworth, finally breaks through.
Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.
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