The BMW PGA Championship will resume on Saturday morning following the death of Her Majesty The Queen and will be reduced to 54 holes, concluding on Sunday.
Play was immediately suspended on Thursday evening following news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, aged 96, being announced at 6.30pm, with all facilities immediately closed and spectators safely removed from Wentworth.
Friday’s second round was then cancelled, but the DP World Tour has announced that its flagship event will resume at 6.40am on Saturday morning with a number of respectful measures in place.
The decision to restart on Saturday was taken in accordance with Official National Mourning guidance and in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
“The Wentworth event will give players, caddies, staff, volunteers and spectators the opportunity to come together across the weekend, not only to express their condolences but also to celebrate the extraordinary life of Her Majesty,” the Tour said in a statement.
“We join other sports in doing this, including the Men’s Test Match between England and South Africa at The Oval and the Women’s IT20 match between England and India in County Durham, Premiership Rugby Union, Rugby League and the Great North Run in the north east of England.”
The second round will begin at 6.40am on Saturday morning and all original second-round tee times will remain the same. The 30 players who are yet to complete their first round will do so from 7.30am onwards from the place on the golf course where they stopped on Thursday afternoon.
The Rolex Series event will now be contested over 54 holes with the intention to finish on Sunday as scheduled. The field will be cut to 65 players (plus ties) after 36 holes.
“It is not possible to play the full 72 holes and finish on Monday as we cannot guarantee the staff, facilities or security of the venue on Monday due to the ongoing plans for the state funeral,” the Tour’s statement added.
Flags will fly at half-mast across the weekend, while black ribbons will be available for players and spectators to wear. There will be a two-minute silence at 9.50am on Saturday across Wentworth Club, and the proclamation of King Charles III shown on the screens in the Championship Village from 10am.
Catering facilities will be open as normal but all other planned weekend activities will be scaled back with planned performances by Jax Jones and Razorlight cancelled, no entertainment on the Slingsby Show Stage and a reduced first tee experience.
“On behalf of our players and everyone connected with the European Tour group, our thoughts and deepest condolences continue to be with the Royal Family at this time,” the Tour added.
Meanwhile, fans who were due to attend Friday’s sold-out tournament day have been sent an email outlining a full refund process.
Ten groups (30 players) were still on the course with as many as six holes to play in their first rounds when play was suspended on Thursday. Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan were tied at the top, alongside Norway’s Viktor Hovland, at eight-under par when play was suspended having completed their first rounds earlier in the day.
In a statement on Thursday evening, the Tour said: “On behalf of our members and everyone connected with the European Tour group and the BMW PGA Championship, it is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“She truly was an inspiration to people the world over.
“Out of respect for Her Majesty and the Royal Family, play has been suspended at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club for the remainder of Thursday and flags at Wentworth Club will be lowered to half-mast.
“Furthermore, no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed. Further updates on the resumption of play will be provided in due course.
“Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the Royal Family at this time.”
Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning monarch in British history and the world’s oldest head of state.
On her death, the Queen’s eldest son and heir, Charles, the former Prince of Wales, has become King of the United Kingdom and 14 Commonwealth realms.
Players took to social media to express their shock and sorrow at the news of Her Majesty’s passing and pay tribute.
Former Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn wrote: “Living most of my adult life in England I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth. An inspiration to so many all over the world. Rest in peace, Your Majesty.”
England’s Matt Fitzpatrick tweeted “RIP Her Majesty The Queen,” while Tommy Fleetwood wrote “Rest in Peace Your Majesty, you will be forever in our hearts. God save The King.”
Ryder Cup Europe posted: “On behalf of everyone connected with The Ryder Cup, it is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“She truly was an inspiration to people the world over. Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the Royal Family.”
Peter Forster, R&A Captain, also paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, with flags lowered to half-mast at the clubhouse in St Andrews.
“We are greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty today,” he said. “Following her accession in 1952, Her late Majesty graciously accepted the Patronage of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, as has been the custom of reigning Monarchs since HM King William IV in 1834.
“Although not a golfer, Her late Majesty’s 70-year patronage of the Club was a great honour for its Members.
“We hold His Majesty The King and all The Royal Family in our thoughts at this time of mourning.”