Wentworth Club is not in itself wholly defined by its tournament history, but the many great championships which have been played on the West, East and Edinburgh courses have each played their part in making Wentworth what it is today; a world class tournament venue.
RYDER CUP – 1926 & 1953
The Roaring 20s were in full swing when Walter Hagen claimed he was bringing “the most powerful team who ever left New York” over to Wentworth for a team match between British and American professionals. In fact, Hagen’s team took a beating, but the result of this 1926 encounter was immaterial. It was such a resounding success that Samuel Ryder, who provided the trophy, said afterwards that, “we must do this again”. Thus the Ryder Cup was born.
When it returned to Wentworth in 1953, this time it was the Americans who triumphed despite their star player Ben Hogan – who had won all three majors he’d entered that year – staying at home! The Ryder Cup helped flag Wentworth clearly on the global map of tournament golf…and there it has stayed.
CURTIS CUP – 1932
Leading amateurs of the day Harriot and Margaret Curtis inaugurated this great competition to “stimulate friendly rivalry among the women golfers of many lands” and it was Wentworth’s East Course that proudly played host to the first match in 1932. The GB&I team was led by the legendary Joyce Wethered, but the American team was victorious and by a comfortable margin.
CANADA CUP – 1956
Fortune smiled on Wentworth when in 1956 it hosted the Canada Cup, the precursor to today’s World Cup of Golf. Ben Hogan may have missed the Ryder Cup three years earlier, but he teamed up here with Sam Snead and won the team prize and the individual prize. There has probably never been a stronger pairing in the history of golf. It was the absolute definition of the ‘dream team’.
ENGLISH AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP – 1961 & 1983
Wentworth’s West Course has twice hosted the prestigious English Amateur Championship, in 1961 and 1983
WORLD MATCHPLAY CHAMPIONSHIP – 1964 to 2007
Click here to see our Wentworth WorldMatchplay video clip. Mark McCormack, founder of IMG, dreamed up the idea of a World Matchplay Championship at Wentworth’s West Course and it would eventually run uninterrupted from 1964 to 2007. The concept was inspired and if there is truth in the maxim that you make your own luck then McCormack got the winner he deserved in the inaugural championship – Arnold Palmer, golf’s most charismatic and exciting golfer.
In fact, right from the very start the World Matchplay Championship had all the right ingredients: the finest players of the moment and an ideal venue in the West Course, with its twin par-5 finishing holes tailor-made for drama. There have been epic encounters, dramatic comebacks, great rivalries and a roll call of champions including Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Faldo, Ballesteros, Norman, Lyle, Langer, Woosnam and Els. No wonder it was one of the most popular stops on the golfing calendar – for players, media, fans and officials alike. It is undoubtedly missed, but Wentworth Club and the game of golf were enriched by its glorious 44-year run.
PGA CHAMPIONSHIP - 1984 to current day
The European Tour’s flagship event once upon a time rotated on several of Britain’s finest courses, Wentworth being among them, but in 1984 it returned to the West Course and hasn’t ever left. It was a fine piece of matchmaking and helped cement the Club’s reputation at the pinnacle of the professional game. Every spring this is European golf’s main attraction, bringing with it a buzz of excitement and the presence of many of golf’s greatest players. Former winners include major champions such as Jacklin, Ballesteros, Faldo, Langer, Woosnam and Olazabal, while former World No.1 Luke Donald achieved a rare double with historic back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012. The BMW PGA Championship and Wentworth’s West Course have been good for one another. This is one trophy that remains high on every player’s career wish list.
Please see dedicated section BMW PGA 2013
WMP AND BMW WINNERS Type: pdf Size: 166.68 kb