A big week for European golf, but baby steps to narrow gap

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Rory McIlroy has withdrawn from the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth next week due to an on-going rib injury.

Finishing second at Sawgrass lifted Poulter from 195th in the world rankings to 80th and sealed his place in the end-of-season FedEx Cup play-offs on the PGA Tour, meaning he could accept an invite from the European Tour to play the first Rolex Series event this week.

"It takes me back and makes me realise how far I've come, to turn up at this tournament and be a legitimate contender for it". The Savannah Golf Championship, which will be contested at Deer Creek Golf Course at The Landings Club in Savannah, will be held the week of March 26 - April 1, 2018, with 156 players competing for a $550,000 purse.

But the Ryder Cup player feels the current generation of home-grown golf stars do not otherwise get the recognition they deserve.

Tyrrell Hatton - Grew up just 30 minutes from Wentworth, he's enjoyed a climb up the World Rankings in recent months. If anyone hasn't been there they do need to experience it, it is one of the best sporting weekends you can ever have.

"I think now we have an iconic golf course which matches what this iconic venue is".

"And those are some of the characteristics that have led me to play well on tough courses in the past, and then I've got to believe that good greens are only a benefit". It certainly was past year when McIlroy hit one of the great 5-woods of his life to take this home at the K Club.

As NBC analyst Roger Maltbie so famously said watching Tiger Woods beat up on the field at the 2000 U.S. Open, it's not a fair fight.

Poulter's season has been transformed by his performance at the Players Championship, where he finished second and thus secured his playing privileges for the rest of the season and into next year.He admitted that his play at Sawgrass had been a huge relief.

"For me it was sacrificing a little bit of form for a few weeks, which is not necessarily a bad thing".

There are some big names in the field at Wentworth this week but none of them are really jumping off the page for me. "I think that's the thing you got to do".

"I've played on European soil my whole career, and being back here at headquarters; and seeing a lot of familiar faces, so it's a good week to be here". The others are the French Open, Irish Open, Scottish Open, Italian Open, Turkish Airlines Open, Nedbank Challenge and DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

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