Launch of Golf Express

Lee Westwood

The history of golf re-imagined to launch Golf Express

As the world’s top golfers prepare to tee off at Wentworth for this week’s BMW PGA Championship, experts at England Golf have re-imagined what the history of the game would look like if it was played over 9-holes, rather than 18.

To mark the launch of Golf Express, designed to inspire busy people to play more golf through the 9-hole format of the game, England Golf has conducted research into the result of every major championship of the last five years to determine how the outcome of each event would differ if played over nine holes.

To address the debate of whether the game is won or lost on the front nine or back nine holes, research has been conducted into both.

If the game was played over the front nine holes, last year’s BMW PGA Championship would have been won by Thongchai Jaidee. The Thai star, the eventual runner-up, would have clinched victory with a -10 ahead of South Korea’s Byeong-hun An, the eventual winner.

Similarly, if the game finished after the first nine holes, injury hit star Tiger Woods would have added a further two major honours to his record. In 2012, the 40-year-old former world No. 1 would have claimed victory at The Open in Lancashire. Eventual winner Ernie Els would have finished third behind Woods (-4) and Australia’s Adam Scott (-2).

Woods would be within touching distance of Jack Nicklaus’ record haul of 18 major championship victories, if the 2013 Masters had come to a finish after the ninth hole. Woods (-4) would have beaten a field of Angel Cabrera, Jason Day and Marc Leishman (all -2) to claim a fifth green jacket at the Augusta show piece.

If the game was played over the back nine holes, England’s Lee Westwood would have celebrated his first major championship victory at this year’s Masters. Widely regarded as one of the best golfers to have never won a major tournament, the 43-year-old would have pocketed the $1.8 million in prize money up for grabs.

Similarly, Justin Rose would have added a second major championship trophy to his collection if the game was played from holes 10 to 18. The 35-year-old, a graduate of the England Golf coaching programme, would have won a green jacket at the 2015 Masters.

Justin Rose said: “During practice I often play nine holes, rather than 18. Golf Express gives people the opportunity to go out and enjoy all the benefits of the game in half the time.”