Daniel Box
By Daniel Box

Trying to organise an outdoor sporting event, which is usually held in the summer, during October is difficult. Just ask the England Cricket Board, who's T20 Blast Finals Day had to be pushed back to a reserve day on Sunday after rain fell for 55 of 56 hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

So for the European Tour to be hosting the BMW PGA Championship - their flagship event as part of the Rolex Series - this week is pretty brave, particularly after the brutal soaking that the players received on Saturday at last week's Scottish Open.

2020 BMW PGA Championship Preview

Your own golfing season may be drawing to a close but with Wentworth this week, then a further event in Scotland, The Masters and the season-ending Tour Championship still to come before Christmas, the European Tour is just beginning to heat up.

Last Year

The new major schedule had pushed the event back to a new slot in September, and it was Englishman Danny Willett who came out on top in 2019 with a three stroke victory over Jon Rahm, continuing his rollercoaster career which mixes wins at huge tournaments with long spells of injury and poor form.

After the win, Willett commented:

"This has been a fairy-tale week for me. To win on home soil really has been amazing for me. This course produces fantastic winners and it's an honour and a privilege to put my name alongside theirs."

The Course

The West Course at Wentworth, also known as Burma Road, was designed in 1926 but has been changed regularly since, with the most recent adaptations being undertaken by local resident Ernie Els to generally positive reviews.

2020 BMW PGA Championship Preview

One of the keys to the recent success at the course has been the SubAir system, which has done wonders for course and green conditions. This allows the levels of moisture on the greens to be specifically controlled, allowing greens staff to dictate how firm or soft they want the conditions to be.

2020 BMW PGA Championship Preview

Although the course is not short at nearly 7,300 yards, it is also relatively tight and tree-lined and so has produced a wide array of winners. A look at the list of previous champions - Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Alex Noren, Francesco Molinari - show that length off the tee is not paramount but quality ball-striking is.

The 18th hole is one that is instantly recognisable to most European golf fans, a true risk-reward par 5 where the approach is played over water to a sloping green. Could we see more drama here this week?

The Field

Despite the fact that this event takes place in early October, there is still a very strong field which is befitting of the prestige of this tournament and its standing as arguably the biggest Rolex Series event.

Four of the world's top 20 are in the field this week - Patrick Reed, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick - along with Open Champion Shane Lowry, as well as Ryder Cup heroes Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter.

Andy Sullivan, John Catlin, Sam Horsfield, Rasmus Hojgaard and George Coetzee, who have all won on the European Tour since the restart in 2020, are also in the field this week and looking to improve on already-successful seasons.

Golfalot Betting Tips

  • Matt Fitzpatrick @ 18/1

He's one of the best players in the world and his quality all-round game should be ideally suited to an all-round test like Wentworth. It also helps that he's probably the best putter in the field too. He has enjoyed a slightly indifferent season so far but played all four days last week and has a good record here. It's time to get back in the winner's circle for Matt.

  • Lee Westwood @ 33/1

With a professional career stretching back to 1994, the chances are that Westwood has played Wentworth's West Course enough times to be able to adjust to the new October date, even despite the recent renovations. The 47 year-old has a very good record here, including winning a match-play event in 2000, and arrives in good form with four consecutive top 10 finishes.

Surely there's a couple of big wins left in Westy's tank?

Share:

Facebook Comments