This week’s BMW PGA Championship lost one Irishman in Rory McIlroy but has gained another in Padraig Harrington who is returning to competition.
Harrington has not played since the last week of February when he missed the at the Honda Classic.
He returned home to finally undergo surgery at the Mater Hospital in Dublin on a long-time troublesome trapped nerve in his shoulder.
And his recovery prediction is pretty much to plan, in fact, it is earlier than expected as Harrington was targeting next Monday’s 36-hole US Open qualifier at Walton Heath.
Instead, he has included himself in this week’s BMW PGA field and also the inaugural event of the new seven-event Rolex Series.
It will be Harrington’s first time at Wentworth since a shoulder injury forced him out after just two holes on day one of the 2015 event.
In the absence of McIlroy, new dad Shane Lowry finds himself the leading Irishman to tackle the again revamped “Burma Road” West Course that has yet again undergone further transformation and this time under the guidance of Ryder Cup Captains Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn.
Lowry, who now finds himself as the World No. 76, has enjoyed a pretty decent record at Wentworth finishing T4th in 2011 and T6th in 2015.
“I am very keen to see how the new changes to the course will play”, said Lowry. “I have chatted briefly with Paul and it sounds all exciting but the good thing I have always enjoyed Wentworth and I have had a few good results there because I do like the layout.”
“I just think it’s a difficult enough golf course, you need to be quite good off the tee. It’s just somewhere that I love playing, since the first time I came here in 2010, I loved it from the word go. Just something about the place”.
Joining Harrington and Lowry will be McGinley along with Darren Clarke, Damien McGrane, Paul Dunne and Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain.
O’Briain, qualified for a very first BMW PGA in capturing last October’s PGA Ulster Championship at Templepatrick.