VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - World number 18 Martin Kaymer has called on the European Tour to move its flagship event, this week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, to later in the season.
The course, redesigned by four-times major winner Ernie Els in recent years, is not to everyone’s liking.
Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey have all decided to skip this year’s tournament while American Patrick Reed also made a late decision to pull out.
World number one Rory McIlroy is back to defend the title he won 12 months ago but Kaymer believes the PGA Championship is held too early in the season.
“I would like to see this tournament played later in the year,” the 30-year-old German told a news conference on Tuesday.
“It’s going to be difficult to plan around the U.S. Open (in June) and the British Open (in July) but for such a big event you should get the best date.”
U.S. Open champion Kaymer said the biggest issue among the players was that the Wentworth putting surfaces were not up to scratch this early in the British summer.
“The only thing this tournament suffers with is the greens every year,” he added. “It’s very difficult I think for the greenkeeper to make them as good as they can be.
“Talking to a few members they said if you come here in six weeks the greens are perfect. For us players it would be even more fun to play the course then.”
Kaymer, who also won the U.S. PGA Championship in 2010, has spent most of this year on the other side of the Atlantic and is pleased to be back competing in Europe for the first time since October.
“It’s been a long time,” he said. “It’s a shame that we play that little in Europe but obviously when you play on both tours, the big events are in America when it comes to world ranking points and status of tournaments.
“Therefore it’s even nicer to come back here feeling like it’s home. It’s not my home country but it does feel where you feel the most comfortable.”
Editing by Ed Osmond