Hutcheon set for Wentworth

ANTALYA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 23:  Greig Hutcheon of Banchory Golf Club tees off on the 4th hole during the final day of the Titleist PGA Play-Offs at the PGA Sultan Course, Antalya Golf Club on November 23, 2011 in Antalya, Turkey.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
ANTALYA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 23: Greig Hutcheon of Banchory Golf Club tees off on the 4th hole during the final day of the Titleist PGA Play-Offs at the PGA Sultan Course, Antalya Golf Club on November 23, 2011 in Antalya, Turkey. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Greig Hutcheon will take a relaxed approach when he tees up with some of golf’s biggest names in this week’s BMW PGA Championship.

The Banchory Golf Club member booked his place in the €4.5m event via last year’s Titleist PGA Play-Offs, which saw the top 10 players all secure a date at Wentworth.

The 39-year-old has been rubbing shoulders with the stars of the European Tour since he first gained his card in 1997, so teeing up with the big names isn’t linked with a fit of the collywobbles.

“I’ve played around 100 tour events, so I’m on first-name terms with lots of them,” he said.

“Going to Wentworth, then, makes you feel like a real golfer, as you mix with guys like Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy.

“It’s a real treat; that’s why we practise so much.”

By his own confession his appearances at Wentworth have been unspectacular, but he did make the cut last May.

“That was a great feeling”, he recalled, “But I had a poor Saturday (a 79) and that pulled me down towards the tail end.”

Hutcheon however is not short of battling spirit which was most in evidence when he showed up for the Titleist PGA Play-offs at Antalya last November suffering from a painful lower back and hip.

“I took 500mg of Ibuprofen each day and at least that suppressed some of the discomfort,” he said.

And his reward was sixth place, and a coveted entry to Wentworth.

He’s also assured of a place in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles at the end of August. But he’s biting his nails at the moment awaiting news of whether he’s getting an invite to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in mid-July.

“I’ve written to the European Tour. There are, I think, 10 places for invites but I know they’re as scarce as hen’s teeth. I’ve had an acknowledgment from them, so it’s a case of ‘wait-and-see’.”

In his favour is successfully making the cut last year - he tied 49th in the rain-shortened event, when the area just east of Inverness was struck by unprecedented downpours, wiping out Saturday play.