European Tour

Ryder Cup trio return to Euro's PGA Championship

2018-05-15 11:56
Thomas Pieters (AP)

Cape Town - Thomas Pieters, Ian Poulter and Andy Sullivan are the latest Ryder Cup players to confirm their participation in this month's BMW PGA Championship - the first of eight Rolex Series events on the European Tour in 2018.

The trio will be looking for a strong performance at Wentworth Club to enhance their prospects of qualifying automatically for the European Team at Le Golf National this September, with fellow Ryder Cup stars Paul Casey, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett and Chris Wood already confirmed as part of the field, along with defending champion, Alex Noren.

The PGA Championship marks the next stage in the qualification campaign for Paris, with Ryder Cup points earned at European Tour events from the event at Wentworth until Made in Denmark multiplied by 1.5 on both the World Points List and the European Point List.

Ryder Cup legend Poulter is keen to return to the Ryder Cup arena having been part of four European victories in five appearances against the United States, including playing a pivotal role in the Miracle of Medinah comeback in 2012.

The 42-year-old is always a firm favourite with the home fans at Wentworth, and he will be looking to build on his good start to the 2018 season, with two top ten finishes already on the European Tour, as well as a return to the winners' circle on the PGA Tour with victory in the Houston Open.

"It's always great to come back home and play in front of the British crowds," said Poulter. "The BMW PGA Championship is always a great event and the changes they made last year to the West Course worked well, so I’m looking forward to having another chance to play it.

"My game has been in good shape this year and I'd love to come back to England and perform well in front of the home fans, particularly with the additional Ryder Cup points on offer."

Pieters made a big impact on his Ryder Cup debut two years ago, finishing as the leading points scorer with four points from his five matches.

The Belgian takes on the duties of tournament host for the first time at the new Belgian Knockout from May 17-20, before heading to Wentworth the following week where he will be looking to improve on a tied 14th place finish last year.

"The BMW PGA Championship is always a special week for the European Tour and it's one the players always enjoy," said Pieters.

"There is a lot of history around the tournament and it's one I'm sure we would all like to win at some point in our career. It's also the return of the Rolex Series and there are extra Ryder Cup points on offer too, so there’s definitely a lot to play for."

Sullivan was also a debutant at Hazeltine two years ago and the three-time European Tour winner is targeting a strong performance on home soil.

"The BMW PGA Championship is always a great event and it's a special one for the British players in particular," said Sullivan. "I feel like I've had a decent start to the year, with a couple of top tens in Dubai and Morocco, so hopefully I can keep improving and Wentworth would obviously be a great place to be in contention."

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