Wednesday, 20 May 2015

BMW PGA Championship, 2015 - Wentworth



We're starting to gain momentum now on the European Tour as we hit the UK this week for the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship to be held once again at Wentworth. Rory McIlroy defends this week, and will be playing for the fourth consecutive week having won the WGC matchplay, finishing TOP10 at Sawgrass and winning again last Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship. Its been an amazing twelve months since he dumped his then fiancee, Caroline Wozniaki the week leading up to BMW PGA Championship last year and given the form he's in right now, it's very hard to see past him again here this week. But, it will be his fourth consecutive week and he'll have one eye on next week, the Irish Open which he is hosting for the first time. At 3/1 this week, he's easy to oppose. Over the years we've seen those who have course experience do well here so expect to see Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Francesco Molinari, Shane Lowry, and Ernie Els to feature. The course underwent some design changes back in 2010, under the guile of the aforementioned Ernie Els and it seems to have made an impact on both scoring and to those who did feature previously.

Twelve months ago, Thomas Bjorn let his lead slip to allow Rory in but it was probably one that Ireland's Shane Lowry should have won. The Clara native was 12th in 2013 and also posted a 4th in 2011 but he's too short for me here @ 33/1. I could back two time Major winner, Martin Kaymer at the same price ! Four TOP20s in his seven visits suggest that Wentworth is a course that the German can excel on but as he's on the shortlist for next week instead, I'm going to swerve here and take a stab at a few at decent prices.

Joost Luiten returns to Europe following a stint in the US where he has performed reasonably well with a best return of a TOP15 at the Honda Classic. Luiten is in decent form and can boast a 12th & 17th at either end of three missed cuts here the last five years. If he can find fairways off the tee he'll have a chance but its the poor driving stats that probably have him out at best price 66/1, but its worth taking for a player of his calibre. A late/early start may be an advantage too and with 6 places on offer this week with majority of the books, he makes my staking plan.

I wanted to back Ross Fisher again this week but have opted to leave him out this time round. Instead I want to get Alex Noren onside @ 100/1 with the 6 places on offer. Noren returned to action earlier this season following a lengthy layoff through injury and hit the ground running before falling away again. He was well down the field last week but arrives here with a tournament under his belt following two decent efforts in China last month. The Swede was 6th here back in 2008, before the course changes were made but has posted 32-21 finishes in 2013 & 2012. He withdrew last year due to that wrist injury. He can return to form this week and surprise and just like Luiten, if he can find the fairways he'll score.

We could carried away with statistics and get over focused on who is bound to go well here and over the years we have seen some illustrious names on the trophy (Jacklin, Oosterhuis, Faldo, Langer, Seve, Olazabal, Monty, Cabrera, Jiminez, Casey, Donald, and Rory) but we've also had "shock" winners in Simon Khan (who simply loves playing here) Drummond and Oldcorn ! Some players along with Rory will arrive looking for a rest rather than another week of competitive golf and I'm hoping the home based players feel the fatigue with the added media attention thrown in. So I'm going to complete my staking plan with a number of TOP20 bets as per my tweets from Tuesday. Max Kieffer, Bjeung An and Robert Rock are three players in fine form and could put in a good showing here. Kieffer hasn't missed a cut this season in 11 events and he's well a nibble in the TOP20 market @ 7.50. Likewise, An is 10/11 with six TOP20s under his belt already and although he makes his debut at Wentworth, I feel the course may suit. Robert Rock completes my interest this week on the back of some solid performances of late; two TOP30's in his last two starts. Rock is available @ 7.00 with An @ 4.50

Staking Plan

0.75 pts e/w J.Luiten @ 66/1 * 6 places
0.75 pts e/w A.Noren @ 100/1 * 6 places

TOP20

2.5 pts M.Kieffer @ 7.50
3 pts B. An @ 4.5
1.5 pts R.Rock @ 7.00