Complicated as last week was with all the handicaps malarkey going on we did land a solitary place at odds of 12/1 which is fractionally better than nothing. This week we move on to less important events (financially at least) with the BMW PGA Championships from Wentworth and one of my few recent articles where we stay this side of the Atlantic ocean.
Designed in 1926 by Harry Colt and re-designed by Ernie Els in 2009 and again in 2016 (and Ron thinks I’m slow at my job!), we have a 7,266 Par 72 course, which amusingly is deliberately more like the original now – the phrase “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, springs to mind. It is allegedly far easier now than the first rebuild (not for the likes of me though), so we can expect low scores once again, though we don’t have the usual stellar names to deal with here, meaning I need to do a bit more digging.
Time to go to work…
Selections with reasoning:
***NOTE*** Different bookmakers are offering different each way terms so do shop around – and make sure you only partake non-runner no bet – covid has seen last minute withdrawals all season and we don’t want to be throwing money away. DO shop around for best odds and best place terms and any special offers with the bookmakers to steal the most value, and DO check the exchanges for bigger prices – I can’t put them on here as they differ by the minute. Betfair prices quoted are as indicators only and were correct at the time of writing.
1pt each way Viktor Hovland 10/1 William Hill, top 8 places (11.0 Betfair)
I can almost hear you now – not another favourite – but bear with me please. Viktor has been competing with some success in America and whether we like to admit it or not, the standard over there is far better than we have on the European tour – fact. Viktor is over to get used to conditions ahead of the Ryder Cup (and good on him for doing so), and finished 11th here two years ago, so he clearly handles the course well enough. More importantly, I feel he has improved considerably since then and will find this opposition far easier pickings and better still, who can believe he is only 23 years old (I have shoes older than that)? So far in 2021 he has won the Mayakoba Classic and finished second in both the World Golf Championships and the Farmers Insurance Open and although I have quickly learned there is no such thing as a certainty in golf, his overall form makes him by far the likeliest winner for our purposes.
1/2pt Each Way Luke Donald 250/1 William Hill top 8 places (560.0 Betfair)
If I give you a favourite I need to try and make up for it with a lively outsider, though at this price I must be the only person who feels he has any kind of a chance. He is not in the best of form at present which I assume explains the price, but what if we have a look at his recent record at the course, I wonder if that will change anyone’s mind? In his last 11 starts here at Wentworth in this event, stretching back to 2008, he has won twice, finished second once and third twice, and believe you me, that is some record as there is never a bad tournament here in Surrey. Admittedly the last few years have not been so productive but at a big price and on a course that brings out the best in him, who I am I to say he cannot bounce back to form.
1pt each way Justin Rose 30/1 William Hill top 8 places (36.0 Betfair)
Another Englishman here (yes, I am patriotic even if that isn’t deemed PC in the year 2021), but more importantly, so will the crowd be, and if he can get a look in, they may well help him to go one step further. His average round here is just over 70 (Shane Lowry’s is better but he is a much shorter price), and that is a figure worth taking on board, with a second in 2007 and 2012 and an eighth in 2019, all of which would have paid out the place part of our bet. As laid back as you can get these days (or that is the persona he gives out), form may be temporary but class is permanent and although no “good thing”, there is every reason to suspect he may put in a few decent rounds – preferably all four, obviously.