IAN Poulter will lead a team of 12 PGA Professionals at the BMW PGA Championship next week after confirming he will play at the revamped Wentworth course for the first time in three years.
The 12-time European Tour winner put a nightmare foot injury behind him at the weekend and showed he can still mix it with the very best after finishing runner-up at the Players Championship on the US PGA Tour.
Poulter, 41, had slipped down the world rankings after missing four months of the season last year through injury, which meant he missed out on a place in the European team for the 2016 Ryder Cup.
But the Englishman produced one of his best performances of his career at TPC Sawgrass where he narrowly came second to winner Kim Si-woo on Sunday, and this week he accepted an invitation to return to Wentworth as he looks to continue his revival.
“For me, to have played well last week and locked up everything in America has now freed my summer up and meant I can come back and play in some of the big events in Europe, which I’m really looking forward to,” said Poulter.
“Everyone on the European Tour has been incredibly supportive and that has helped me be free and clear on what I needed to do in my own mind.
“I would have loved to have won last week, and it’s still a disappointment not to have got that win, but the result means I can come back over and play in the BMW PGA Championship, and plan my summer schedule, and it will obviously be great to play in front of the British fans again.
“My form is good – I don’t feel like I’ve got a lot out of my game over the last few weeks – but I’ve been working hard and hopefully the results will follow.”
ABOVE - Ian Poulter pictured in action at the 2014 BMW PGA Championship.
Poulter is now looking forward to playing at the BMW PGA Championship for a 14th time where he will be among a world class field which includes world number two Rory McIlroy, Open Champion Henrik Stenson, Olympic Champion Justin Rose and defending champion Chris Wood.
The famous West Course has undergone a multi-million pound revamp since last year’s tournament, with new putting surfaces being introduced on all 18 holes.
The changes were carried out by Ernie Els Design and European Golf Design, working with an advisory group comprising Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjørn and David Jones, which acted on feedback from European Tour players.
Poulter’s best finish at the event was a share of tenth position back in 2012 and he is keen to see how he will fare following 12 months of extensive renovation work.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the changes that have been made at Wentworth,” Poulter added. “Everything the guys – Thomas, Paul – have done to improve the course makes me want to jump back on a plane to the UK. It’s just what I need – the chance to come back to Britain and play some golf and enjoy it.
“It seems the changes they have made are what the West Course deserves and it is going back to its rightful self, so respect to the club, to the European Tour and to the guys involved for making those changes and I’m sure the players will enjoy playing it next week.”
* Poulter is one of 12 PGA Professionals who will be hoping to make an impact the BMW PGA Championship. He will be joined at Wentworth by Robert Rock, Robert Coles, Chris Gane, Paul Hendriksen, Matthew Cort, Greig Hutcheon, Paul Streeter, Graham Fox, Neil O’Brian, Phillip Archer and Damien McGrane.