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Ian Poulter enters PGA Championship at Wentworth

Poulter has opted out of the last two PGA Championships at Wentworth
Poulter has opted out of the last two PGA Championships at Wentworth

Ian Poulter will make his first appearance at the European Tour's flagship PGA Championship for two years at a new-look Wentworth from 20-23 May.

The Englishman avoided the event because of the state of the greens, however he has joined Padraig Harrington in deciding to return.

"I am looking forward to checking out modifications to the West Course which Ernie Els has made," said Poulter.

"I am sure the changes will be for the better," he added.

Irishman Harrington, who had not featured in the last three tournaments, confirmed his entry after practising on the new-look West Course in Surrey on Friday.

The 38-year-old has also been critical of Wentworth's greens in the past, but alterations by South African world number seven Els, who owns a house on the Wentworth estate, have received his backing.


"I actually like the changes and I think they suit me. I know I'm putting pressure on myself but I'm looking forward to the tournament."

Few of the 18 holes remain untouched and world number four Poulter believes his chances of winning the event have been boosted by the revamp.

"They have changed it dramatically and, to be honest, I welcome the changes because the way I usually play on the course has meant that I have never really had a chance," said Poulter, who hopes to recover from a knee injury, suffered playing basketball, in time for the Players Championship in Florida which starts on Thursday week.

"Any change is a good change for me and I think that we will now have an even stronger field for what is our flagship event.

"That can only be good for the tournament. I would love to win it - the world ranking points on offer are great and the prize fund is one of the biggest in the world and it is the European Tour's most prestigious event."

Dubliner Harrington singled out the par-five 18th for special praise.

"I know it was iconic before but now it's more substantial," said the 2007 and 2008 British Open winner and 2008 USPGA champion.

"It's got that higher level of difficulty so nobody can just turn up and have an easy birdie or par."

Defending champion Paul Casey, meanwhile, expected extra thrills and spills on the new course.

"I'm intrigued to see what Ernie's done and how the greens perform, but I know with two par fives to finish we are going to have fun and excitement," said the Englishman.

"Anything can happen and that's the beauty of Wentworth. Just stand in the middle of the first fairway and look back at the tee and that famous clubhouse and it makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck."

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see also
Big names exit after missing cut
10 Apr 10 |  Golf
Poulter seals Match Play victory
21 Feb 10 |  Golf
Casey holds on for Wentworth win
24 May 09 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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