European Tour: BMW PGA Championship
A strong field has assembled this week at the revamped Wentworth track which will test the patience and accuracy of the players especially down the closing stretch. Ability to score well on the par 5's is key here and course experience and ability to read the subtle borrows on the greens are strong assets. Historically form at Valderrama, venue of this year’s Spanish Open is a useful pointer to success at Wentworth.
OUTRIGHT: Shane Lowry, 0.5 pts win and place 16/1 (1/4 odds 6 places)
Lowry’s strong showing last year in The US Open followed up by a win in The Bridgestone WGC event in August has propelled him way up the world rankings. His Wentworth form is excellent with recent results reading 4T in 11, 12T in 13, 2nd in 14 and 6T in 15, that despite a first round 74, so it may pay to stay onside with him this week.
OUTRIGHT: Martin Kaymer, 0.5 pts win and place 22/1 (1/4 odds 6 places)
On the negative side Kaymer has expressed reservations about this course in the past but since the revamp he has actually played fairly well here and had his tied twelfth place finish in 2014 not included a poor second round of 75 he might well have won. He has played well recently finishing inside the top five in last week’s Irish Open as well as tied sixth at Valderrama in mid-April.
TOP ENGLISH: James Morrison, 0.5 pts win and place 20/1 (1/4 odds 4 places)
Morrison has good current form with a top ten finish last week which followed on from his excellent tied fourth place finish at Valderrama in April. He looks well suited to the Wentworth course having finished tied eleventh here last year despite a horrid third round of 75.
TOP ENGLISH: Eddie Pepperell, 0.5 pts win and place 20/1 (1/4 odds 4 places)
Pepperell first came to attention here in this event in 2013 when he looked like a star in the making in finishing tied sixth. He has not lived up to that promise yet but he is still young and has time on his side. Having underlined his liking for Wentworth the following year with a top thirty finish he looks worthy of note in this speciality category on the back of his top ten finish last week in Ireland.
TOP CONTINENTAL EUROPEAN: Alex Noren, 0.5 pts win and place 20/1 (1/4 odds 4 places)
Somewhat surprisingly Noren managed a tied sixth finish on the tight Valderrama track in April which he manged to follow up with another top ten finish subsequently in China two weeks later so we can say his game is in decent nick. Consequently he may well be able to improve on his tied tenth finish here last year.
PGA Tour: Dean and DeLuca Invitational
The Tour moves from Dallas a short distance to Fort Worth to The Colonial Club which is a more traditional style of course and shorter at only 7,000 yards with a par of 70. The fairways are fairly tight and tree-lined, the greens are small and tend to be set up fairly firm so in general accuracy is marginally favoured over power here.
OUTRIGHT: Colt Knost, 1 pt win and place 45/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Last week’s tip, local boy Knost, managed a top five finish for us so it seems sensible to stick with him here. He has now recorded successive top five place finishes and the Colonial course, where he finished tied tenth last year, suits his accurate style of play even more than last week’s venue at TPC Las Colinas in Dallas.
OUTRIGHT: Chez Reavie, 0.5 pts win and place 80/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Reavie has really struggled with loss of form over the past few seasons but there have been signs of a renaissance this year especially in The Shell Houston Open where he recorded his sole top ten finish. He does tend to do well in Texas and has a useful record at The Colonial where his recent finishes include a 5T in 11 and an 11 T in 13. He looks worthy of note on the back of last week’s top twenty finish in Dallas.
OUTRIGHT: Steve Marino, 1pt top ten place only 12/1 & 0.5 pts win and place 160/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
If you are taking a “horses for courses” approach to picking a contender this week Marino has to figure prominently on your radar as his course form reads 24T in 07, 10T in 08, 2T in 09 and 16T in 11. After a long spell of poor form caused by a wrist injury he has bounced back somewhat playing well on the Web.com tour last year and now plying his trade on the main tour again. Encouragingly he finished tied twelfth last week and since he just loves playing here and has formed such strong positive mental associations with the event he really has to appear in the staking plan at these odds.