Major on Poulter's mind ahead of BMW PGA

The greens were dug up and re-seeded after last year's tournament in order to make them less bumpy, a frequent complaint of the players in the past. The renovation started eight days after Chris Wood's victory a year ago, with all 18 greens stripped and reseeded.

Jamieson, who was in the first group out at 7am, carded five birdies in a flawless opening 67, with Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat joining him on five under after six birdies and one bogey. It wears you down pretty quickly, no matter how much confidence you've got in that tank, and obviously I pull a lot from that tank.

Marcus Fraser played well in Italy last week and does have a 4th place finish in this event in 2011 to look back on.

All 18 greens have been reseeded and just as we saw at Augusta, sub air technology has been installed under every putting surface to control moisture, although given the outstanding weather forecast this week, I'm pleased to say that shouldn't be necessary. Why I haven't performed as well as I have around this golf course, I'm not really sure.

Els chipped in for eagle at the par five after he had checked for a plugged lie and replaced his ball by the green. "And when you're in a good frame of mind, generally good things happen".

"I feel like I've been working hard on my swing", Carlsson said.

Hanson has long since dreamed of playing in the event that on these shores ranks beneath only the Open in terms of prestige.

"The changes are very subtle and you don't immediately notice them, probably because that's the way they should have been".

"I'm just happy to be here. It was nice to be out there", said the Englishman after 20,692 fans turned up for the first tournament of the European Tour's new money-spinning eight-event Rolex Series. It's got some pretty good tough par-3s, the par-5s if I drive it really well I can get home to a lot of them.

"I would not want to miss Birkdale", added Poulter, who was second behind Padraig Harrington the last time Birkdale hosted the Open in 2008. Other than that he has had two top 20s and a top 5, and is in a good position to defend what was his third European Tour title. Reported numbers were that over 16,000 headed into Wentworth to enjoy a fantastic day of golf in the Surrey sun.

Twenty-nine bunkers have been removed and four greens, the 8th, 11th, 14th and 16th, have been rebuilt while another five have been revamped. This year's Abu Dhabi Champion finished second in the WGC Mexico to Dustin Johnson and picked up another runner-up at the Shenzhen International, which was the last tournament he played in prior to this one.

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