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Preview: BMW European PGA Championship

 

Stenson eyes No. 1 ranking at BMW PGA

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) Sweden's Henrik Stenson heads into this week's BMW PGA Championship knowing that a few good rounds could take him all the way to the world No. 1 spot.

Stenson should manage the feat if he finishes higher at the European Tour's flagship tournament than Australia's Adam Scott does at the PGA Tour's Crown Plaza Invitational Colonial event at Fort Worth, Texas.

But Stenson, currently the No. 3 in the world, is playing down his chances - having managed just one top-10 result in 10 straight appearances at Wentworth to 2010, the last time he played the course.

''It's definitely on, but I haven't given it too much thought in that sense,'' Stenson said Wednesday. ''I've been more trying to work on my game and try to get back in good shape because I know, if I get my game to where I want to have it, then that's definitely an achievable thing in the near future.''

The permutations are also complicated by the fact that No. 4 Matt Kuchar could also become No. 1 should he win at Colonial.

Stenson knows that he may need to be patient.

''I'm more into trying to focus on the processes of playing good golf and giving myself the best chance to become world No. 1,'' he said. ''And if I can win some tournaments this year, I will have a good shot at getting there.''

Others in the field at Wentworth include US Open champion Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and England's Ian Poulter - though Poulter indicated he was only 70 percent certain of teeing up on Thursday after injuring his lower back last week in the gym.

''It's just disappointing, and it's not the best prep for this week,'' Poulter said.

Rose, who will return the gleaming trophy to the United States Golf Association next week, shared a family moment involving the symbol of his Merion success over Phil Mickelson and his four-year old son.

''Leo ate some ice cream out of it - so he was the first to christen the trophy,'' said Rose with a smile. ''I had not even had a drink, but he had some ice cream out of it and we got some great video, I think will last a lifetime, and some great memories.''

The trophy will be displayed on the opening tee throughout the BMW PGA Championship.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
European Champ field
Felipe AguilarThomas AikenKiradech Aphibarnrat
Matthew BaldwinSeve BensonGaganjeet Bhullar
Thomas BjornRichard BlandJonas Blixt
Liam BondGregory BourdyKristoffer Broberg
Daniel BrooksRafael Cabrera-BelloFrancois Calmels
Jorge CampilloAlejandro CanizaresJohan Carlsson
Magnus A. CarlssonDarren ClarkeGeorge Coetzee
Nicolas ColsaertsMatthew CortMarco Crespi
Eduardo De La RivaCarlos Del MoralRobert-Jan Derksen
Robert DinwiddieChris DoakLuke Donald
Jamie DonaldsonScott DrummondDavid Drysdale
Simon DysonJohan EdforsIan Ellis
Ernie ElsNacho ElviraNiclas Fasth
Darren FichardtRichard FinchOliver Fisher
Ross FisherTommy FleetwoodMatt Ford
Mark FosterGraham FoxStephen Gallacher
Sergio GarciaRicardo GonzalezRetief Goosen
Branden GraceRichard GreenEmiliano Grillo
Anders HansenJB HansenSoren Hansen
Peter HansonPadraig HarringtonTyrrell Hatton
Gregory HavretMichael HoeyMark Hooper
David HorseyDavid HowellDaan Huizing
Greig HutcheonMikko IlonenRaphael Jacquelin
Thongchai JaideeScott JamiesonYeon-jin Jeong
Miguel Angel JimenezRoope KakkoShiv Kapur
Robert KarlssonMasahiro KawamuraMartin Kaymer
Chris KellySimon KhanMaximilian Kieffer
Sihwan KimSoren KjeldsenBrooks Koepka
Jbe' KrugerPablo LarrazabalPaul Lawrie
Peter LawrieCraig LeeJason Levermore
Thomas LevetAlexander LevyTom Lewis
Jose-Filipe LimaShane LowryJoost Luiten
David LynnMorten MadsenMatteo Manassero
Gareth MaybinPaul McGinleyDamien McGrane
Rory McIlroyJamie McLearyEdoardo Molinari
Francesco MolinariDamian MooneyGarth Mulroy
Matthew NixonAlexander NorenJose Maria Olazabal
Thorbjorn OlesenAdrian OtaeguiHennie Otto
John ParryAndrea PavanEddie Pepperell
Thomas PietersIan PoulterPhillip Price
Julien QuesneAlvaro QuirosRichie Ramsay
Victor RiuRobert RockJustin Rose
Brett RumfordRicardo SantosCharl Schwartzel
Marcel SiemJeev Milkha SinghLee Slattery
Gary StalHenrik StensonGraeme Storm
Andy SullivanSimon ThorntonPeter Uihlein
Dawie Van Der WaltAnthony WallJustin Walters
Paul WaringMarc WarrenRomain Wattel
Lee WestwoodPeter WhitefordBernd Wiesberger
Danny WillettChris WoodFabrizio Zanotti
Strength of field
World RankPlayersNo. in Field
TOP 10Rory McIlroy (1),Henrik Stenson (2),Sergio Garcia (5),Justin Rose (7)4
TOP 25Martin Kaymer (12),Jamie Donaldson (23)2
TOP 50Ian Poulter (26),Joost Luiten (28),Charl Schwartzel (30),Thomas Bjorn (32),Brooks Koepka (35),Stephen Gallacher (36),Luke Donald (37),Miguel Angel Jimenez (41),Lee Westwood (42),Thongchai Jaidee (43),Mikko Ilonen (44),Shane Lowry (47)12
TOP 100Alexander Levy (53),Francesco Molinari (55),Ernie Els (57),Jonas Blixt (59),Tommy Fleetwood (60),Marcel Siem (65),Marc Warren (68),Pablo Larrazabal (69),Bernd Wiesberger (72),George Coetzee (77),Thorbjorn Olesen (78),Danny Willett (83),Ross Fisher (86),Rafael Cabrera-Bello (87),Richie Ramsay (90),Romain Wattel (96),Robert Karlsson (97),Edoardo Molinari (99)18