The Golfer of the Year – an award Ballesteros won on three occasions in 1986, ‘88 and ‘91 – is voted for by the golf media. He beat off competition from Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm...
Thomas Bjorn leads the pack with Wentworth record
Thomas Bjorn has been firing on all cylinders in the first round of the BMW PGA Championship, setting a course-record 62 to lead the field at Wentworth.
The Danish star shot eight birdies and an eagle to finish 10 under to lead by two from Ireland’s Shane Lowry.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello took 65 and France's Gary Stal 66, while Rory McIlroy shot 68. Pagraig Harrington hit a 69, with US Open champion Justin Rose shooting 70 and Luke Donald and Lee Westwood both scoring 71.
Ian Poulter, who was a doubt for the event after complaining of back problems, carded a 70, although world number 7 Sergio Garcia was unfortunately forced to withdraw with a knee problem after an opening 73.
"You shoot great rounds in your career but to shoot 62 on this course, you can't ask for more," said 43-year-old Bjorn.
"Last week was awful and I was starting to feel a little frustrated with things. Practice this week, I was not good either.
"To step out on this course of all courses and play like I did today was surprising. Although I lived here for nine years it's not a place where I think it's going to be a great week, but I have to stick my head down now and focus on the rest of the week."
Bjorn didn’t drop a stroke all day and reached the turn in 32 with birdies at the second, fourth and seventh. He then added an eagle three for good measure at the 12th before achieving birdies at the 10th, 11th, 14th, 16th and 18th.
Bjorn added: "It was one of those days where you just walk off the golf course and you think, I want to keep playing.
Luckily for Bjorn he had finished his round before the heavens opened and a torrential downpour washed out play and forced it to be suspended due to the threat of lightning.
Unsurprisingly, there was just as much attention being thrown towards Rory McIlroy, who’s breakup from tennis ace Caroline Wozniacki still seemed to be the talk of the day. The Northern Irishman was among the players to finish early evening after two forty-five minute weather delays, and admitted finding it difficult to concentrate at times with so much going on in his personal life.
"I just tried to bury my head in my golf and I did a pretty good job of it," he said after mixing eagles at the par-four seventh and par-five 12th with three birdies and three bogeys. "I don't think you would be human if it wasn't tough, especially when it's a little slow out there and you are waiting between shots."