Our golf expert brings you his preview and predictions for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
BMW PGA Championship Winner
We have been provided with some great events on both sides of the water in terms of difficulty and last weeks Scottish Open was right up there with the best. The famine earlier in the year certainly means a feast now and what better way to spend a cold October week than tucked up in front of the telly watching the best that Europe has to offer at Wentworth. Field casualties are inevitable but they've attracted Patrick Reed who heads the betting alongside Tommy Fleetwood.
Where better to start than the Englishman. He showed once again last week why he was one of the best attitudes in the game and he'd have been a fitting winner having started the week poorly. He grinded for the remaining three days and bar a couple of shaky tiddlers he'd have won on Sunday. That stellar long game will come in very handy this week and he looks the one to topple given his form and how hungry he must be for this title. It's a difficult event to win and will be a long week and although he looks best equipped on paper it's hard to weigh in at single figures. Reed is also suited to the test and 4th here last year on his maiden voyage to Wentworth was a sign of just what he is capable of.
Aaron Rai at 40/1 (7 places)
Aaron Rai was hugely impressive down the stretch last week in North Berwick and I find little reason why not to invest a few quid in him going back to back. His long game was in solid shape all week hitting plenty of greens and scrambling very well when he needed to. After his win in Hong Kong then again last week he looks set to become a tight course specialist where hitting fairways and greens are a pre requisite to contending. Wentworth sets up well for this game. His game looked in such good nick that a continuation of that form that seen him finish 2nd at Galgorm also looks on the cards. If he gets into contention he will be one the big guns fear given his current form.
1.5pts each-way A. Rai 40/1 (1/5 7 places)
Jeunghun Wang at 125/1 (8 places)
We know Jeunghun Wang is a very talented sort and although often he doesn't put his best foot forward it's worth nothing whenever he goes on a run. He has been playing on the Korean Tour since the restart with three top tens in his last four starts there. Last week he finished 14th in Scotland finishing 3rd in Scrambling and 2nd in Driving Accuracy. Wind the clock back to 2016 and he went back to back winning the Trophee Hassan (tree lined, tight track) and the Mauritius Open in the space of two weeks. At the start of the 2017 he finished 11th in Abu Dhabi before winning the Qatar Masters the following week. He is a streaky player who when hot can win almost anywhere. The fact he has a win in Morocco is a good sign for Wentworth where he has so far failed to deliver. Recent form suggests he is in better nick than previous visits though and he can capitalise on a somewhat weaker field than usual here in Surrey.
1.5pts each-way J. Wang 125/1 (1/5 8 places)
Garrick Higgo at 110/1 (8 places)
Bezuidenhout and Reed finished 3rd and 4th last year on debut so signs are no previous experience here can not be considered a huge disadvantage. Garrick Higgo lands here for his trip around the Surrey track and looks a decent play at triple figures. The South African has enjoyed a great few months with top tens in Euram and Ballymena and winning the Portugal Open in Vilamoura. Earlier in the year he won the South African Tour Championship holding off some big names. Last week was a solid effort finishing 26th in Scotland with little experience in those sorts of conditions. In doing so he ranked inside the top in driving accuracy and inside the top 5 in GIR which surely a solid recipe to go to war with at Wentworth this week. He beat Coetzee to the Tour Championship, beat him when strong jolly in Portugal and again finished well ahead of him in Scotland. Higgo could well be a much better prospect ion the future than his counterpart and currently sitting at almost double his price.
1pt each-way G.Higgo 110/1 (1/5 8 places)
Adri Arnaus at 100/1 (8 places)
Adri Arnaus remains a bright young talent on the tour yet to fulfill his potential and a decent effort last week in Scotland shows he's up for the fight. He finished 3rd in Dubai in challenging conditions earlier in the year also and may face another challenge conditions wise this week. 6th in Crans and 2nd at Valderrama tell us he is more than capable around a tighter track and a test such as this may just give him a head start on the field. He is one to keep a close eye on over the next 12 months, and I have to believe the layers are taking chances when sticking up any triple figure price no matter how strong or weak the field is. Worth chancing.
1pt each-way A. Arnaus 100/1 (1/5 8 places)
Justin Harding at 110/1 (8 places)
Justin Harding is another South African who can go well with some eye catching performances of late. It was only a year ago that Harding was sitting inside the top 50 in the world. The break didn't help that cause but two top 3 finishes at the British Masters and Andalucia Masters show us he is producing somewhere near his best form once again. 11th at the Irish Open is another encouraging result. He missed the cut on debut here last year but should strip fitter for that outing and arrives here in much better form than last year. If he is anywhere near producing his best stuff he should be near half this price so I'm more than happy to take the chance this week that Harding can go a little better than his two 3rd placed finishes in the last few months.
1pt each-way J. Harding 110/1 (1/5 8 places)
Masahiro Kawamura at 150/1 (8 places)
Masahiro Kawamura is another who must be played at triple figures. The Japanese 27 year old has enjoyed a good spell of late making 6 cuts on the spin on the European Tour including top tens at Valderrama and Vilamoura as well as a top 15 finish at the Irish Open. Making the cut last week in Scotland has to be viewed as a positive also. He ranked inside the top 20 in both driving accuracy and GIR last week so it setup for a solid week. His performance at Valderrama was particularly noteworthy with just how difficult that track played over the week.
0.75pt each-way M. Kawamura 150/1 (1/5 8 places)