GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the BMW PGA Championship from Wentworth.
BMW PGA Championship | 19th-22nd September 2019 | Sky Sports
The Rolex Series returns this week on the European Tour and it brings a star-studded lineup to Surrey, England.
A number of Americans have made the trip while Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood make an appearance too.
- Wentworth Club, West Course, Surrey.
- Par 72, 7,284 yards
- Tree-lined, traditional heathlands – a typical Surrey track.
- Fairways are quite tight and the trees require the ability to shape shots.
- Greens are tough and are protected by bunkers and run-offs.
- Wind can play a factor if the weather influences.
- Iron play the biggest key – GIR (most important!), SG:App. Players who are great ball-strikers and can use their long irons to success.
- Driving isn’t really a factor but I would like to side with someone who can get it in the fairway in the right spots.
- Scrambling also a factor as these greens can be hard to hit especially with the shaved edges.
- Bogey avoidance and par-5s the vital scoring aspects.
- Players In red-hot form will be favoured over those out of favour – it can be a tough track so I’d be surprised if someone came in and won off the back of several missed cuts.
- Course history will help a players’ case big time.
- Rolex series winner usually the cream of the crop/elite player from the ET.
Henrik Stenson (22/1 SkyBet)
I’m happy to write off many of the front-runners based on price – it’s Rahm’s first trip for example and he’s second favourite – that’s not to say he won’t be an influence. I think the biggest threats are from Matt Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry.
I’ll begin the staking plan with Henrik Stenson – one of the better iron players at the front of the market – he’s superb with his long irons and is dead accurate off the tee.He’s only played this track twice in the last ten years, but he’s shown up in both – 7th (2014) and 3rd (2017).
Last time out he was 3rd in the Scandinavian Masters, and he no doubt had more attention than usual there with it being in his home country. Three top-20s in last three ET events and topped the GIR stats in two of them.
Bernd Wiesberger (40/1 SkyBet)
Next on the list is the GIR king, Bernd Wiesberger, who followers may have an affiliation to after winning us the Scottish Open at a very similar price. He’s another player that recently topped the GIR charts for an event when finishing fifth at the BMW International in Germany. He’s 4th overall on the ET.
Sometimes players drop off after winning, but not the Austrian – he’s missed just one cut in four events and that fifth place finish was indeed last time out. He scores well on the par-5s and can avoid the bogeys. Wiesberger has also shown form around here with a couple of top-20s.
Robert MacIntyre (66/1 Betfair)
A risky move, but one I am happy to invest in because of the quality of player on offer. Bobby Mac has never played the course, but has all the attributes to succeed here.
The young Scotsman ranks inside the top-26 on Tour for all of these key statistics – GIR, Scrambling, SG:APP (15th), Bogey avoidance (13th) and par-5 scoring.
He’s had a couple of chances to convert his grab his first victory on the ET – second behind Paul Casey last time out on top of a T6 in his first-ever major at Royal Portrush as well as two further second place finishes at both the British Masters and Made in Denmark.
Joost Luiten (66/1 Ladbrokes)
Had Joost Luiten not been coming back from injury then he certainly wouldn’t be this price. Results alone show he’s trending in the right direction – MC-T32-T29-T23-T10.
He too topped the GIR rankings in both Sweden and at the KLM Open and ranks 6th on the ET even despite missing a number of weeks through injury.
He has made four of five cuts at Wentworth with a best finish of 11th, all of which were 27th or better too.
A good ball-striker who can definitely find the right spots on the fairway. He could well outplay this price.
Andrew Johnston (100/1 SkyBet)
Englishmen are always in with a shout round here in Surrey – they account for 50% of the winners in the last ten years so it would be rude not to include at least one. The ones at the front of the market are rather overrated in their own nation while someone in very decent nick sticks out like a sore thumb at a three-figure price.
Beef’s comeback has been honourable and impressive, battling from mental health issues so it is so, so great to see him compete again.
He has three top-25s in his last four events including a T4 at the Scottish Open. Whilst in terms of statistics, he rates out as one of the best in the field, notwithstanding the American influence and bit-part appearances of the elite.
Johnston is in the top-26 on the ET for GIR, Scrambling, SG: APP, Bogey avoidance and par-5 scoring.
BMW PGA Championship – Henrik Stenson (22/1 each-way SkyBet)
BMW PGA Championship – Bernd Wiesberger (40/1 each-way SkyBet)
BMW PGA Championship – Robert MacIntyre (66/1 each-way Betfair)
BMW PGA Championship – Joost Luiten (66/1 each-way Ladbrokes)
BMW PGA Championship – Andrew Johnston (100/1 each-way SkyBet)