Monday, 19 May 2014

BMW PGA Championship Betting 2014

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The European Tour’s flagship event, The BMW PGA Championship heads to Wentworth GC this week where the cream of European Golf will tee it up hoping to land the 60th edition of the Championship. It’s a quality field this week and with so many of Europe’s finest in terrific form, it won’t be easy picking the winner here but its worth noting that this course is a favourite of quite a few. The tree lined course will put big emphasis on a good tee to green game and excellent ball strikers tend to do well as was the case for the defending champion, Matteo Manassero 12 months ago. At 7,300 yards it will be a mental test and the victor will need to be at the top of his game.

The One to Beat

There is a handful of players that could easily lay claim as to being the course specialist that they all have to beat, and none more so, than the oldest winner on the tour, Miguel Angel Jiminez who won this title back in 2008 keeping a fast finishing Luke Donald at bay. The Spaniard is in the form of his life at the moment and he can go well again this week on the wave of recent form. 5 TOP10s the past 10 years augurs well for his chances. Only one other player in the field can match those number of TOP5s in the past 10 years and that’ s Luke Donald, who will be bidding to win his 3rd title having won in 2012 & 2011. 3 TOP10s in his last 7 starts Stateside, suggests that the Englishman is in good shape to challenge again and could start out favourite around 14/1.

From the Pack

Justin Rose will have many supporters this week too with 3 TOP10s to his locker in his previopus 6 starts at Wentworth, including 2 runner-up placings. The US Open Champion is coming into Wentworth this week with slightly better form than Donald having bagged 3 TOP5s in his last 3 starts but he may be a bit short in the betting around the 16/1 mark, if not less. Rory was 5th back in 2009 but that’s about all he can shout about here, and he’s best left alone from a betting perspective. Stenson simply has no form here either, and along with Garcia they can be omitted from any staking plan. Ernie Els though could be interesting this week! Having put some re-design touches to the course 2 years ago, Els may have something to say yet about who wins this title and with his incredible Wentworth record he cannot be dismissed lightly. His past 10 years results include 5 TOP20s (6th & 7th the last 2 years) and whilst form in 2014 is not great, any price over 60/1 is a value bet and worth considering. Dane, Anders Hansen, has recently returned to action following injury and should have won in Singapore only to be pipped at the end by Felipe Aguilar. Hansen is twice a former winner of this event (2007 & 2002) and like Els, could be a value bet around the 66/1 quote. Others that should go well again this week include recent winner, Lee Westwood who has produced 3 TOP10s in his last 4 efforts. Another home player, Simon Khan doesn't get backed by many any given week but it seems this course was made for him. He won this back in 2010, lost in that play-off last year to Manassero and was also runner up in 2006. Through in another TOP 10 in 2008, the local lad is sure to feel at home but given form of late its ahrd to see it happening this week. 

Alex Noren, always a favourite of mine, surprised me in Catalunya on his return after a long layoff and should he take confidence from his first start back he may be worth considering at triple figures. Indeed, speaking of backing regular players, I'm now drawing up a list of players that I think can win before the end of the season at a decent price with a view to backing them each time they start. A decent price meaning 50/1 possibly 66/1 or better should that price become available.This list is currently at 5 players but I may have a couple more before I post them on here. At this stage though, Noren has to be played at such a decent price. I make no apology by including Ross Fisher in that list also. Ross won the Tshwane Open earlier this year and has 2 other TOP10s from his 10 other starts. He loves Wentworth too and is a real value bet for me this week. T 15th in Cataluyna in difficult scoring conditions augurs well coming into this week and at a nice 50/1 with Betfair Sportsbook (paying 6 places) he's a must bet for me again.

My Selections

Pending price (as always), this tournament can provide an opportunity to find some value should the market leaders fail to take it out come Sunday afternoon. Aforementioned Felipe Aguilar has shown already this season that his game is in firne shape and he may approach this week without too many objectives in terms of winning and I’m hoping he arrives nice and relaxed following a decent TOP10 in Spain. He may have missed the cut 4/6 visists to Wentworth but he has also posted 2 TOP20s. The Chilean could be a surprise packet this week and especially when he's available at 100/1, he’s well worth a dabble here in the each way market or indeed TOP10/20 considering he ranks high in driving accuracy and GIR.

Alvaro Quiros will be at a nice price this week and he won’t be too disappointed with his final round in Catalunya yesterday as his beloved Athletico Madrid won La Liga the night before. He’ll be in great spirits for this on the back of a Top10 and 2 TOP20s in his 5 previous visits. Ignoring the Open de Espana final round, Quiros was 3rd & 13th in previous 2 events. He’s in form, ranks currently in the Top20 for GIR, and could be about to go close.

We’ve seen many back to back winners of this event over the years and who’s to say Matteo Manassero can’t defend again this year. His 4 visits have yielded results of 1-43-7-17 so he clearly likes the course. He’s had a visit to the course in the past couple of weeks doing promotional work and therefore the added pressure of being defending champion may be lifted, could be more relaxed and indeed motivated to repeat again. Recent efforts on the PGA didn’t go according to plan but if off to a good start this week he could be in the mix again come Sunday evening. Should be available around the 50/1 mark.

Alex Noren at triple figures cannot be passed up on. In his 186 starts on the Tour, he's won 3 times with a further 37 TOP10s. Thats a 22% TOP10 strike rate so whilst he hasn't won as often as he should have perhaps following him for TOP10 could be the way for the time being. 

Argentine, Emiliano Grillo is on my list "Soon to Win". The 22yr old ranks high in GIR and is becoming very consistent on tour. He should have won the Africa Open but he's put that disappointment behind him and produced a TOP15 in Spain last week on what was a difficult course. Runner Up in Dubai  and currently 35th in the R2D standings, Grillo is sure to produce the goods soon and get that win. It may not be here, but I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss his chances. 

As mentioned, Ross Fisher @ 50/1 meets the "price" criteria and he completes my interest this week.

Staking Plan:

0.5 pts e/w F.Aguilar @  100/1 Betfair Sportsbook
0.75 pts e/w A.Quiros @ 80/1 Betpack
1 pt e/w M.Manassero @ 66/1 Betpack
0.5 pts e/w A.Noren @ 150/1 Betpack
0.5 pts e/w E.Grillo @ 150/1 BetVictor
1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 50/1 Betfair Sportsbook

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