This week is the main event on the European Tour calendar, The BMW PGA Championship from the famous Wentworth Club. This year the event has attracted many high profile stars, coming from both the European and the PGA tour. The betting is dominated by English stars such as Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, and it is a tournament that the English have an excellent record in over the past few years.
Last year this event was won by young Italian Matteo Manassero after holding off Simon Khan and Marc Warren in a three-way playoff. This weeks line-up looks one of the strongest in many years, with many recent winners including Luke Donald, Matteo Manassero and Anders Hansen.
The course is always a fierce test of a golfer, even more so after the redevelopments in the course, in which Ernie Els had a huge part to play in the re-modernization of this legendary golf course. The Wentworth West Course is now a par 72, 7,302 yard course that includes many memorable holes, non more so than the 18th which has seen many a round ruined with the close proximity of the water to the smallest green on the course, and a players strategy is of paramount importance. Course form is important, and this can be a big positive if the player has experience at this unique course.
I have 2 selections for this weeks tournament, and these are:
Francesco Molinari – 28/1 General
This Italian has often played well on the European Tour without managing to win, however I am hoping that will change this week. He has played well here numerous times during his career, and the last 2 years he has finished Tied 9th and Tied 7th respectively, just 3 behind the leaders last year. He is generally a consistent player, and his accuracy is a crucial asset around this type of course. When he is putting well is he excellent on the greens, as proven in the Players Championship a few weeks back. He comes in to this tournament in good form, finishing 4th, 6th and 24th in the last few weeks, with the 6th coming at the Players. Last week he played excellently until the weekend where he failed to fire, but he can bounce back here on a course he seemingly enjoys.
Lee Westwood – 14/1 General
The talented Englishman is another who saves his best golfer for this venue, after some excellent finishes in this event in recent years. His last 4 starts here have resulted in finishing positions of 10th, 2nd (losing in a playoff to Luke Donald), 33rd and 9th. 3 top 10’s in 4 tournaments proves he acts well around here. A negative for him and an area of his game that has always let him down is his short game, and more specifically his putting. This is usually his downfall, however when he’s on song he is one of the best golfers in the world. He is playing some excellent golf recently, finishing a respectable 7th in the Masters before going on to winning the Maybank Malaysian Open a few weeks back, and I am hoping he can prove his class and follow up here.