Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour: BMW PGA Championship Preview

European Tour: BMW PGA Championship Preview

Golfer admires shot

Originally known as the British PGA Championship, the BMW PGA Championship is next up on the European Tour

The European Tour | Rolex Series | BMW PGA Championship
Wentworth (West Course), Surrey, England
Thursday 19 September - Sunday 22 September 2019

The European Tour had to think of their feet with the rearranged scheduling of their flagship event. The major shake-up in the PGA Tour schedule saw the PGA Championship move to May, which has been the traditional host month of this event since its inception. But Pelley and company were quick to move and an excellent field this week justifies their decision to move this event to September. Originally known as the British PGA Championship, the BMW PGA Championship began life in 1955. It has been the showcase European Tour event since the tour’s inception in 1972. It will also now be the fourth Rolex Series event of the year as opposed to the first. All in all, I think that the reshuffle actually gives this event more context leading up to the conclusion of the Race to Dubai. 

The West Course at Wentworth was designed by legendary architect Harry Colt and opened way back in 1926. It has undergone various renovations under the watchful gaze of Ernie Els. The greens are now pure bentgrass, while the 18th has been drastically remodelled, with a protective lake making it a brilliant risk-reward par 5. Wentworth is a fairly tight, tree-lined Heathland style course. English players have fared well around here while course familiarity seems even more pertinent here than your average course. Molinari’s victory last season was preceded by four top-nine finishes in his previous five starts. 

Former champion and recently crowned PGA Tour Player of the Year Rory McIlroy will clearly enter as this week’s favourite. But in reality, there are so many players capable of tasting success this week. Irish Open champion Jon Rahm could be dangerous this week, while Justin Rose will look for some late glory in what has been a subdued 2019. Paul Casey is fresh off an excellent victory while Open Champion Shane Lowry looks to add another prestigious title to his resume. The American trio of Reed, Finau and Horschel could emerge as strong dark horses to gate-crash this event. Defending champion Molinari has had an indifferent year but boasts a fabulous record at Wentworth. 

Past Winners
2018: Francesco Molinari (-17)
2017: Alex Noren (-11)
2016: Chris Wood (-9)
2015: Byeong Hun-An (-21)
2014: Rory McIlroy (-14)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Rory McIlroy (11/2)
Jon Rahm (10/1)
Justin Rose (14/1)
Paul Casey (14/1)
Tommy Fleetwood (22/1)

Value Bets

Rafa Cabrera Bello
To Win (60/1), To Place (13/1)

I really think that Cabrera-Bello is ridiculously undervalued at 60/1. Generally solid from tee to green, the Spaniard’s game is almost perfectly designed for this course. He has five top 25 finishes in his last eight visits to Surrey. He has also picked up some terrific results in this campaign. He finished 3rd at the BMW International Open before capitulating slightly at the Irish Open, ultimately finishing in 4th. While he missed the cut at the Open Championship, tied for 12th at the stacked WGC St Jude once again highlighted his capacity to perform in stellar fields. He has performed well in England before, finishing 4th at the 2017 Open at Birkdale. 

Joost Luiten
To Win (70/1), To Place (15/1)

Joost Luiten is in the Alex Levy category of unfulfilled talents. Not too long ago, Luiten seemed right on the cusp of challenging for Ryder Cup places. But his form dipped dramatically over the last 18 months. But the excellent Dutch ball-striker seems rejuvenated since hiring new caddie, Maarten Bosch. In their first three events together Luiten has form figures of 29-23-10. He actually finished 1st last week in greens in regulation, which bodes well for the classical test they face this week.  Luiten has shown his potential around Wentworth before, with five top 30 finishes thus far. 

The Man to Beat

Matthew Fitzpatrick
To Win (25/1), To Place (11/2)

Matthew Fitzpatrick strikes me as the best value towards the upper end of the market. His recent lowly finish at the European Masters just makes him a more attractive price. His generally accurate tee-to-green game makes him an ideal candidate this week. His form figures here read 47-12-8, which does show steady signs of improvement. Prior to the European Masters, he was in brilliant nick. He finished runner-up at the Scandinavian Masters, just a shot behind Erik Van Rooyen. That came hot off the heels of a brilliant top 5 finish at the WGC event in Memphis. He also finished runner-up at the BMW International Open. 

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