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+++ Hollywood actor Tom Holland, football legend Gareth Bale and other stars tee off +++ DJ Locksmith wows the crowd on the West Course and in the Championship Village +++ Entire European Ryder Cup team competing in the flagship event of the DP World Tour +++
Munich/Wentworth. The BMW PGA Championship, the most prestigious golf tournament in Europe after The Open, got underway with the Celebrity Pro-Am at the Wentworth Club just outside London on Wednesday. Numerous stars from other sports and showbusiness played alongside some of the biggest names in golf and made for an atmospheric opener to an exceptional week of sport.
Big crowds attended the first highlight of the “Festival of Golf” – a moniker that the fourth tournament in the Rolex Series has earned with its sporting class, live concerts after the rounds and the Celebrity Pro-Am. Those putting on a show for their fans included Hollywood stars Tom Holland (leading actor in the "Spider-Man" and "Avengers" film series), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" film series) and five-time football Champions League winner Gareth Bale. Other former world-class footballers such as Jermaine Jenas, Theo Walcott and John Terry, as well as the cricket stars James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Kevin Pietersen took on the legendary West Course at the Wentworth Club. Pop music also enjoyed a VIP presence, with former Westlife singer Brian McFadden and DJ Locksmith, member of top DnB act Rudimental, in attendance.
In addition to his golfing prowess, Leon “Locksmith” Rolle rounded off the day by wowing fans with his actual talent, with an electrifying live performance on the Show Stage in the BMW PGA Championship Village. Live music on Saturday and Sunday evening has been a key element of the BMW PGA Championship for many years, and now the programme has been extended to include Wednesday. Jax Jones and The Wombats will perform at the weekend.
As of Thursday, one of the biggest stages that European golf has to offer will finally belong to the pros. The outstanding field of players at the tournament with a prize fund of nine million US dollars includes the entire European Ryder Cup team: Rory McIlroy (NIR), Jon Rahm (ESP), Robert MacIntyre (SCO), Viktor Hovland (NOR), Matt Fitzpatrick (ENG), Tyrrell Hatton (ENG), Ludvig Åberg (SWE), Tommy Fleetwood (ENG), Nicolai Højgaard (DEN), Shane Lowry (IRL), Justin Rose (ENG) and Sepp Straka (AUT).
Captain Luke Donald (ENG), his vice-captains Thomas Bjørn (DEN), Francesco Molinari (ITA), Edoardo Molinari (ITA) and Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL), as well as previous winners Billy Horschel (USA, 2021) and Danny Willett (ENG, 2019) will also tee off at the BMW PGA Championship.
With so many superb golfers, it is not only the fans who are looking forward to an abundance of birdies and eagles: BMW will be donating £10 for each birdie, and £100 for each eagle, to a good cause. The official charity for the BMW PGA Championship 2023, which will receive the money, is the same as last year’s charity, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). The objective of CALM is to direct attention to the topic of suicide prevention and collect donations for the life-saving work performed by the organisation. Visitors to the BMW PGA Championship will have the opportunity to donate to the organisation at various locations around the grounds – including at the popular Mega Putt Challenge.