Rose To Drive To BMW Success
Founded in 1955, the BMW PGA Championship is the flagship event of the European Tour, although with the advent of the Race to Dubai it is no longer the most lucrative.
It is also the Tour’s designated Premier Event for the purposes of the Official Golf Rankings, with 64 rankings points at stake, so usually attracts a strong field. Only one non-European has won this tournament in the last twenty years.
This event is always played on the West Course at Wentworth, the home of the European Tour. It’s a tight, tree-lined venue, which demands accuracy off the tee rather than distance, although length isn’t completely irrelevant, particularly in wet weather, when the course plays longer. The tricky, undulating greens are another feature of Wentworth and it takes experience to fully master them.
In The Bunker
It’s a sign of Rory McIlroy’s dominance that you could have made a profit backing him blind since the start of the year, despite his ever-shrinking price. Last week he went off the 10/3 favourite at Quail Hollow and never looked in trouble as he picked up yet another trophy. So should we join in and jump on the Rory bandwagon?
Well, you have to believe that no player, not even Rory, can win consistently enough to make odds of 5/2 value, so the answer this week is no.
McIlroy’s closest rival in the antepost market is Justin Rose and at 9/1 the Englishman makes slightly more appeal. He hit form in spectacular fashion at the Masters, finishing second beyond Jordan Speith, then followed up by winning the Zurich Classic.
A missed cut at the Players Championship was disappointing, but Sawgrass is a fiendishly tricky venue and he should fare much better at Wentworth, where he has two second places to his name.
Back him to bounce back this week.
Luke Donald also missed the cut at Sawgrass and has had a tough year, having managed just one top ten finish, at the Honda Classic, but I think we can overlook his indifferent form this week. In addition to winning at Wentworth in 2011 and 2012, he has another three top ten finishes in the last seven years.
Although he has yet to arrest his decline from his 2012 peak, he’s still capable of winning tournaments and his record in this event demands respect. Back him at 25/1
Francesco Molinari has struggled for most of 2015 but he found his touch last week at the Open de Espana, finishing second behind James Morrison and if can take that form to Wentworth, he should be a serious contender. He took a while to master this quirky course, but he’s managed top ten finishes on each of his last three visits and he looks a good bet this week at big odds of 33/1.