One of the finest tournaments of the year takes place this week at Wentworth as the great and good in the game of golf descend upon Surrey to showcase their talents. This is one of the more lucrative prizes on the tour, which has been somewhat overshadowed in recent years by the Race to Dubai and the big events towards the end of the season. Byeong Hun An took the title here 12 months ago and comes here with some recent form under his belt. We know a lot about Wentworth and there's no doubting that accuracy off the tee and a solid tee to green game is what succeeds around this joint. Winners such as An, Donald (twice), Jimenez, Khan, Manassero, Howell all indicate that a strategic golfer makes the better score at Wentworth. Francesco Molinari, another tee to green machine has finished in the top ten here the past four years on the trot. We won't be straying far from that thinking in selecting our golfers for this week.
Danny Willett heads the field after a disappointing finish in Ireland. On day 1 he looked unbeatable and I thought he'd follow up his Augusta win with another special victory. He barely hit a shot all weekend though and maybe tiredness had set in. This week will be busy also and although I could see him play well amongst the trees of Wentworth, I'm not prepared to have a bet on him just yet. Shane Lowry played well here last year and absolutely thrives on tree lined courses. I'm very tempted to back him as I see him as the most likely winner in this field, but at this stage in his career, in this field, I don't see the 16/1 on offer much value. Value is very much thin on the ground here at Wentworth this week.
My two main fancies at the odds are Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Luke Donald. Rafa continues to play magnificent stuff and arrives here with some fine golf under his belt this season. Just one missed cut (Sawgrass) in his last fifteen events and only three times out of the top 25 in that time. He has without doubt found a different gear and I believe this is the week it will all come together. Last weeks score of 5 under and tied 8th was a very positive result. Although we had him backed, in hindsight the course played a shade different to what I thought it would. It was a fair bit tighter off the tee with trees getting in the way of any wayward shot, much similar to this week. His score was a testament to how much his game has matured over the last six months. His Wentworth form is hit and miss.
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Three top 20 finishes and four missed cuts does show us that he has the game to score around here. Never has he arrived here in such form though and sooner or later this stylish Spaniard will notch another win. His scrambling has improved a lot this year which will no doubt need attention this week. His putting still lets him down every now and again, but the rest of his game is in such great nick that it makes up for it. Chips are being moved in on the Spaniard, a very solid bet.