Christiaan Bezuidenhout comes in off a third at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship and was also third here in 2019. Back him each-way with bet365 at +3000 (1/4 1-2-3-4-5-6).
Justin Rose has close connections with Wentworth and a strong course record. He can win a 72-hole match (-110 bet365) against Adam Scott, who hasn’t played it since 2006.
Shubhankar Sharma has three top 20s in his last four starts and caught the eye here two years ago when T17. Back him at +500 with DraftKings Sportsbook to crack the top 20.
With the PGA Tour taking a one-week breather between seasons, all eyes turn to the European Tour and rightly so.
The BMW PGA Championship in England is the European Tour’s flagship event and has a storied history since becoming one of the key entries on the golfing calendar.
The date has moved to September/October in recent years to avoid clashing with the PGA Championship which switched to May in 2019. It’s proven a smart decision and the new slot has thrown up two quality winners: Danny Willett in 2019 and Tyrrell Hatton in 2020.
Add in Chris Wood in 2016 and three Englishman have triumphed in the last five years.
The other two winners in that period were Ryder Cup stars Francesco Molinari and Alex Noren so the cream really does rise to the top.
Rory McIlroy, the 2014 champion, provides further evidence. There’s no Rory this week, or Jon Rahm either, but with the Ryder Cup later this month, there are plenty of other top Europeans who have either already qualified or are trying to make a late push to wrap up a slot or put themselves in the running for a wildcard pick.
The West Course at Wentworth is a 7,267-yard par 72 designed by the great Harry Colt. It opened in 1926 but has undergone several recent alterations under the supervision of Ernie Els, a Wentworth resident. It’s a tree-lined heathland course with pure bentgrass greens and hitting lots of them in the right number has been a theme when looking at past champions.
But plenty of winners have also leaned heavily on short games as the putting surfaces can be hard to find if missing the fairly challenging fairways.
With the course having some extra bounce this year due to the hot weather in the build-up, fairways and greens will be missed by all and that means there could be an extra reliance on short game.
If that’s the case, step forward Christiaan Bezuidenhout. The South African is superb around the greens and was ranked 1st for Scrambling on the European Tour last year. His focus has been on the PGA Tour in 2021 and he’ll arrive in the UK fresh from securing full playing privileges for next season courtesy of a third-place finish in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.
Also, T10 in the Boise Open and T16 at the Olympics in August, Bezuidenhout again showed off his razor-sharp short game by ranking top of the Scrambling stats at the Korn Ferry finale.
He’s in fine shape again and now the three-time European Tour winner gets to play a Wentworth course that definitely suits him – and perhaps even more so when it’s firm and fast.
We know that because two years ago on debut the 27-year-old finished solo third after laps of 68-67-69-68.
Bezuidenhout was only ranked 133rd in the world at the time but he’ll peg it up this year ranked 44th in the OWGR. He said in 2019:
It’s the European Tour’s flagship event and you can see why. The golf course is brilliant and everything is just brilliant. It’s just a great week.
Back him each-way at +3000 with bet365, who are paying out on six places this week instead of the usual five.
We continued our good run with 72-hole match bets last week as Dean Burmester beat Garrick Higgo, who missed the cut. This time I’m going to put my faith in Justin Rose to get the better of fellow major winner Adam Scott.
Rose has his eyes on winning a place on the European Ryder Cup team and needs a final push to either qualify automatically or persuade skipper Padraig Harrington to give him a pick. As well as that added incentive, the Englishman has strong connections with Wentworth.
It’s not far from his London base and he’s a two-time runner-up at the course as well as posting a host of another top 12 finishes.
Scott enjoyed the course too when he played it but his last competitive visit was 2006 and the place has undergone several renovations since.
Rose, who has T8 (2019) and T12 (2017) in two of his last three BMW PGA starts, has stepped it up in the big events this season despite his overall form being a little patchy.
The 41-year-old was top eight in both the Masters and the PGA Championship while he also added a T10 on his most recent start at the Wyndham Championship.
Scott should have won that latter event but missed a short putt for victory and he missed the cut at The Northern Trust next time out.
On this particular course at this particular time (the Ryder Cup is just a few weeks away), my money is on Rose at -110 with bet365.
Shubhankar Sharma has three top 20s in his last four starts and it should really have been four.
As well as T16 in the Hero Open, T9 at the Cazoo Classic, and T12 in last week’s Italian Open, the Indian was also T9 after 54 holes in the European Masters at Crans before a poor closer.
But he’s clearly in excellent form and his final 54 holes in Italy last week were particularly impressive as he fired 66-69-66. As well as their current form, he’s also played well on his two starts at Wentworth.
Two years ago Sharma shot middle rounds of 67-66 to be third with a round to go before finishing T17 while he again made the cut last year.
The +500 for a top 20 with DraftKings Sportsbook looks particularly generous.
|BMW PGA Championship Information|
|Tournament||BMW PGA Championship|
|Location||Wentworth GC, Virginia Water, Surrey, England|
|Time||Thursday, September 09 – Sunday, September 12|
|How to Watch||Thursday 7am-1pm, 1.30pm-3.30pm (Golf Channel), Friday 7am-1pm (Golf Channel), Saturday 7am-2.30pm (Golf Channel), Sunday 7am-2pm (Golf Channel). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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