BMW PGA to resume on Saturday at Wentworth but is cut to 54 holes

The BMW PGA Championship will restart on Saturday morning at Wentworth, where the DP World Tour’s flagship event will be decided over 54 holes instead of the scheduled 72 holes.

Luke Donald leaves the 18th green on Thursday night following the announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during day one of the BMW PGA Championship. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images.
Luke Donald leaves the 18th green on Thursday night following the announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during day one of the BMW PGA Championship. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images.

It follows the immediate suspension of play on Thursday evening and the complete cancellation of all day’s play on Friday, both actions having been taken in memory of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and out of respect for the Royal Family.

The decision to restart on Saturday at the Surrey venue has been taken in accordance with Official National Mourning guidance and in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

In a statement, the DP World Tour said: “The Wentworth event will give players, caddies, staff, volunteers and spectators the opportunity to come together across the weekend, not only to express their condolences but also to celebrate the extraordinary life of Her Majesty.

“We join other sports in doing this, including the Men’s Test Match between England and South Africa at The Oval and the Women’s IT20 match between England and India in County Durham, Premiership Rugby Union, Rugby League and the Great North Run in the north east of England.”

The second round of the $8 million Rolex Series event will resume at 6.40am on Saturday morning and all original second round-tee times will remain the same. Thirty players who are yet to complete their first round will do so from 7.30am onwards from the place on the golf course where they stopped on Thursday afternoon.

The intention is to finish on Sunday as scheduled, which means the event will be decided over just three rounds, which, of course, is the format used by LIV Golf, Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed breakaway circuit.

Earlier in the week, Rory McIlroy joked that LIV Golf players in the Wentworth field would not be used to playing four rounds. “We are all going to go play 72 holes, which is a novelty for them at this point, and then we’ll go from there,” he said.

Addressing the change, the DP World Tour statement added: “It is not possible to play the full 72 holes and finish on Monday as we cannot guarantee the staff, facilities or security of the venue on Monday due to the on-going plans for the state funeral.

“Across the weekend at Wentworth, black ribbons will be made available for people to wear and flags will continue to fly at half-mast.

“In addition, there will be a two minute silence at 9.50am on Saturday morning across the venue to commemorate the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with the proclamation of King Charles III being shown on the television screens in the Championship Village from 10am.”

While catering facilities will be open to spectators in the Championship Village at the Surrey venue, all additional planned weekend activities will be scaled back.

That means two planned concerts by Jax Jones on Saturday night and Razorlight on Sunday will be cancelled. There will be no other entertainment on the Slingsby Show Stage across the weekend while the first tee experience will also be reduced.

“On behalf of our players and everyone connected with the European Tour group, our thoughts and deepest condolences continue to be with the Royal Family at this time,” concluded the statement.

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