BMW PGA Championship Past Winners & Results By Year

The European Tour headquarters are based at Wentworth Club in Surrey. That is one reason why the BMW PGA Championship is the most prestigious event of the European Tour season. A strong field and thousands of fans are guaranteed every year at this blue riband event which takes place on the storied West Course at Wentworth. The famous Harry Colt-designed course itself is another reason why this is such a popular event, the West Course having hosted the now defunct World Match Play Championship for many years as well as the 1953 Ryder Cup.

The list of BMW PGA Championship winners is a who’s who of European golf. Legends such as Colin Montgomerie , Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo (a record four times) – they’ve all won this tournament. More recent stars to have triumphed include Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Danny Willett too, which only adds to the prestige and importance for every player who tees it up.

Past Winners

Year Course Winner
2022 Wentworth Club Shane Lowry
2021 Wentworth Club Billy Horschel
2020 Wentworth Club Tyrrell Hatton
2019 Wentworth Club Danny Willett
2018 Wentworth Club Francesco Molinari
2017 Wentworth Club Alex Noren

2022: Shane Lowry

Professional golf is ultimately a meritocracy. Play better than the competition and you’ll have success. Shane Lowry knows this and yet he had reason to question it over the course of 2022. Despite playing some of the best golf of his career, Lowry had somehow not been able to secure a win. That all changed at Wentworth as Lowry held off the challenge of Rory McIlroy to win the 2022 BMW PGA Championship by a single shot.

Lowry’s celebrations after he secured the win were most welcome after a strange and sombre edition of the DP World Tour’s flagship event. Friday’s play at Wentworth was cancelled and the tournament become a 54-hole event. Shortening the tournament meant a condensed leaderboard on Sunday with several players in with a chance of winning. Patrick Reed and Jon Rahm both held the clubhouse lead at one point but Lowry’s excellent play meant he was able to get out in front by the time he finished.

As McIlroy approached the 18th tee he knew he’d need an eagle to set up a playoff with Lowry. After two wonderful shots the playoff was alive but then his eagle put finished agonisingly short, leaving Lowry to celebrate.

2021: Billy Horschel

There is a tweet from 2017, which was dug out by the European Tour, in which Billy Horschel talks about his love for the BMW PGA Championship and desire to play in the event. Two years after that tweet, the American made his debut at Wentworth and in 2021 he went all the way to win.

Horschel had endeared himself to the English galleries by talking up the importance of the European Tour’s flagship event and got a lot of support all week long. That support was shared around many other players though including the British pair of Jamie Donaldson and Laurie Canter who shared second place with Kiradech Aphibarnrat. None of the chasing pack could quite match Horschel’s relentless brilliance though and he sealed the deal with an excellent birdie on the 18th hole although he did face an anxious wait as Canter tried and failed to get the birdie he needed to get into a playoff.

Horschel’s performance made it all the more strange that he wasn’t included in the American Ryder Cup team. The final run for a place in the European team was the major storyline of the tournament with Lee Westwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and Bernd Wiesberger doing enough to qualify. Justin Rose’s sixth-place finish was not enough however and he was not given a captain’s pick despite finishing above both Shane Lowry (17th) and Ian Poulter (MC) who were given the nod by Padraig Harrington.

2020: Tyrrell Hatton

Winning the BMW PGA Championship is a dream of every European Tour player, especially those from England. Tyrrell Hatton certainly craved victory at Wentworth and his dream came true in October 2020 even though he wasn’t able to celebrate with the thousands of fans who would usually have surrounded the fairways and greens of the West Course.

Hatton was consistently excellent throughout the week at Wentworth. He opened with a 66 which would turn out to be his best round of the week and he only took three shots more in his worst round of the week on Saturday. Composure was the order of the day for Hatton on Sunday, when he shot a closing round of 67 which was largely without stress, whereas his nearest challenger, Victor Perez, blinked when the pressure was on. The Frenchman was understandably trying to force the issue on the tee of the par five 17th as he desperately needed a birdie but a poor drive put paid to his chances of winning.

Hatton could therefore enjoy his walk up the final two holes even if he came a little too close for comfort to the water on the final hole. In truth, his lead was big enough by that stage that he could have dropped a shot or two and in the end he ended up winning by a very comfortable four shots.

2019: Danny Willett

When Danny Willett won the Masters in 2016 he was on top of the world. He could not have foreseen the immense challenges that he would face afterwards as he pretty much lost his swing and tumbled down the world rankings. At one point it looked as though Willett may never be able to win again but he is not a quitter. After making a host of changes to the benefit of his game, Willett started improving and he reminded everybody that he is a world class golfer when at or near his best with this massive win at the 2019 BMW PGA Championship.

It was an infamous collapse from Jordan Spieth that gave Willett the chance to win the Masters three years earlier. He was determined that a similar fate would not befall him at Wentworth and he started his final round strongly to send out a message to the chasing pack. Jon Rahm was the man who heard that message clearest playing alongside Willett in the final round and the supremely talented Spaniard eventually had to settle for second place with Christiaan Bezuidenhout back in third.

Willett described the win as a fairy tale, not only because it marked the return from the depths of despair but because he could do it in England. “To win on home soil really has been amazing” Willett said afterwards and there is no doubt that the support of the galleries helped him all week long.

2018: Francesco Molinari

Frustration turned into elation for Francesco Molinari in the 2018 BMW PGA Championship. The Italian was thwarted by an historically low round from Alex Noren a year earlier but he made sure to convert a share of the 54-hole lead this time around.

Noren was once again involved in the closing stages but most of the attention was paid to Rory McIlroy, who won this event in 2014, who was the other man in pole position at the start of Sunday’s final round. Unfortunately for his legion of fans in Surrey, McIlroy just ran out of gas at the wrong time. He played his first two rounds in -12 but was only -3 for this final two rounds and Molinari was never going to pass on this opportunity.

Just like a year earlier, Molinari’s final round was four shots under par. Unlike last year, that was good enough to win this historic title by two shots. The Italian has worked incredibly hard on his golf in the last year or so, adding distance to a game that has been built around accuracy. That is a potent combination and Molinari knows that many more big titles are in his future if he can maintain this standard of golf.

2017: Alex Noren

Every win at the BMW PGA Championship is special. Some, however, are more special than others. Alex Noren’s Wentworth win in 2017 was so special that it will go down as one of the highlights of his career.

Noren played some steady golf over the first three days at Wentworth but that very much gave way to the spectacular on Sunday. Starting the day seven shots off the lead and a long way ahead of the final groups, Noren went on an absolute tear around the West Course. He took full advantage of the best of the conditions to equal the course record with a stunning round of 62 (interestingly he shares the record with two other Scandinavians, Robert Karlsson and Thomas Bjorn). That saw him set the clubhouse lead before the weather took a turn for the worse around 3 o’clock at -11 (10 of those shots came Sunday) which was a number none of the others could match.

Noren’s was not the only very good round of Sunday. Nicolas Colsaerts shot -7 to earn himself a share of third place and Francesco Molinari would usually be happy with a round of -4 to finish his week. As it was, the Italian was frustrated that he couldn’t get closer to Noren and ended up two shots behind in second place.