BMW PGA Championship
Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, England
JOHN CATLIN (USA) 80/1 – Bet £5EW Sky Bet 8 places
MARCUS KINHULT (SWE) 80/1 – Bet £5EW Sky Bet 8 places
JOOST LUITEN (NED) 50/1 – Bet £5EW Paddy Power 8 places
CHRISTIAAN BEZUIDENHOU (RSA) 40/1 – Bet £5EW Paddy Power 8 places
ALEXANDER BJORK (SWE) 90/1 – Bet £5EW Sky Bet 8 places
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA (IND) 150/1 – Bet £5EW Sky Bet 8 places
Ryder Cup heroes set for BMW PGA Championship return
Ryder Cup legends Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood will all tee it up at next month’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, the third Rolex Series event of the 2020 Race to Dubai, in the hope of sealing the coveted title for the first time in their storied careers.
The trio boast 20 Ryder Cup appearances between them and each has played an important role in Europe’s dominance in golf’s greatest team event over the last 25 years.
Two-time Major winner Kaymer has won on three of the four occasions he represented Europe, including famously holing the winning putt to seal the trophy in the Miracle at Medinah in 2012.
The German will next month be making his 13th consecutive appearance at the BMW PGA Championship since his debut in 2007, and will be in confident form having come close to a 12th European Tour victory on two separate occasions in the last month.
Poulter, meanwhile, is regarded as one of the greatest Ryder Cup players of the modern era, the Englishman having been a talisman for Europe since his winning debut in 2004 at Oakland Hills – his first of five Ryder Cup wins in six appearances.
The 44-year-old has 12 European Tour victories to his name but is yet to win on English soil. He has made the cut in five of his last six appearances at Wentworth, with his best result in the event coming in 2012, when he finished in a share of tenth.
Westwood – who boasts ten appearances in The Ryder Cup, seven of them victorious – has won over Wentworth’s famous West Course, where he claimed the World Match Play Championship in 2000. He will be looking to add the BMW PGA Championship title to his 25 European Tour victories, which include two Rolex Series triumphs.
The 47-year-old claimed his first European Tour win in four years with victory in the 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge, before earlier this year holding off the chasing pack of Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood and Victor Perez to claim the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA title.
Westwood, Kaymer and Poulter will join the defending champion Danny Willett, as well as his fellow home superstars Fitzpatrick, Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Justin Rose, in a star-studded field at Wentworth from October 8-11.
The event will this year take place without general spectators, in line with the European Tour’s medical health strategy and Public Health England guidance.
THE WEST COURSE WENTWORTH
Architect: Harry Colt (redesigned from 2005 to 2017 by Ernie Els
Length: 7,284 yards (6,660 m)
Course Record: 62, Robert Karlsson, Thomas Bjørn, Alex Norén
Key tournaments: HSBC World Match Play Championship, 1964 – 2007: BMW PGA Championship, 1984 – present: Ryder Cup, 1953: World Cup 1956
Harry Colt designed Wentworth’s famed West Course in the 1920s. Some 80 years on it was felt that some of the original shot values had been lost and that the course did not play as Colt intended it. Thus in October 2005 began an extensive programme of restoration and modernisation, in consultation with Ernie Els Design, that was completed in 2017.
The first and second phases involved extensive re-bunkering and hole lengthening where appropriate. The Ernie Els Design changes blended successfully with the original Colt design and ensured that this great course remained a test for the best players in the world and yet was also still fun for Club members and visitors. This work was completed in 2007.
In 2009 Wentworth then announced a third phase of major work, again to be carried out in consultation with Ernie Els Design, in which all 18 greens and greens’ surrounds were re-built to USGA specification to ensure they perform to the absolute highest standards. This construction work would also address long-standing settlement issues and improve drainage to help disperse water more efficiently to the perimeters of the greens.
The final phase of work was completed in 2017, prior to the staging of the European Tour’s flagship tournament the BMW PGA Championship, and was led by Ernie Els Design in collaboration with renowned consultants European Golf Design. The two parties also worked closely with an advisory team, which included Thomas Bjørn, Paul McGinley and David Jones, representing the views of the Tour players, and Wentworth’s Director of Golf Courses & Grounds, Kenny Mackay. Attention was focused on the greens, greens’ complexes and bunkering.
All 18 greens were stripped of the old turf and re-seeded with a new creeping bent, which improves the appearance and playability of the putting surfaces. Many were either rebuilt or partially rebuilt and, crucially, a new sub-air system was installed to help make them play firmer and faster. New irrigation and drainage was also introduced. In addition, a further review of the bunkers was undertaken. As a result, all bunkers were redesigned and reconstructed, with 29 bunkers removed from play.
Ernie concluded, “We believe this final phase of modernisation and renovation helps more closely realign the course with Harry Colt’s original vision, whilst also being mindful of the demands of the modern game; that’s always a delicate balancing act. All in all, the completion of this project is great news for Wentworth, for BMW and the European Tour, and obviously for the players and the fans who love to come here every year.”
JOHN CATLIN (USA) 80/1
Right so our good friend from Black mountain “Thailand” is here again this week on yet another brute of a golf course and he just loves winning on tough courses. When your home track is Black Mountain then you have to be able to drive straight and have a high greens in regulation and putt like a god.
We had a catch with John this week, Mike played a round with him last year whilst in Hua Hin great company and what a player.
So he has won in Spain again in Ireland a couple of weeks ago, going to forgive him a break and a missed cut in Scotland but he really wants to add England to his list of wins this year.
Wentworth is a grind and you need to be patient and not rush things as a double of worse is just around the corner if you go chasing a score. He has shown just this on his previous wins and this test should be right up his alley.
Sorry 80/1 Sky Bet 8 places OK having that all day £5EW
MARCUS KINHULT (SWE) 80/1
Coming into this week in some great form, of the back of a solid show in Scotland finishing in a tie for sixth place.
He is also back to a place where he has now I feel gained enough experience to score well around the West course. Twice played at the BMW he finished 12th in 2018 and then a top fifty last year.
He is playing and scouring much better than he was in 2018 and should now be able to really have a good attack at this track and could be a great chance for him to pick up his second ET title win.
You will also need to be a good putter around here and he ticks plenty here:
- Putts per GIR – 1.75 – Ranks 17th European Tour
- Average Putts per Round – 28.60 – Ranks 13th European Tour
This improvement over the past couple of years is the reason why he won and the reason he will win plenty more.
Going for a £5EW with Sky Bet 80/1 paying 8 places
JOOST LUITEN (NED) 50/1
Dutch born Joost has had a great professional career so far bagging six ET Tour wins, and has been close to making that a lot more over the years.
He for me is another player who enjoys the grind and Wentworth should be right up his alley this week.
Good driver of the tee and still up there with the big boys for distance.
Not won this year but came very close at the Euram Bank Open in July. He comes into this week following an 11th place finish at the Irish Open then only last week another great week finishing in a tie for 19th place.
Previous results at the BMW: 17/MC/MC/MC/12/11/27/24/MC/31
Some very good results in with that lot. OK he might not win it but a very good EW bet for a place.
Going with £5EW PP 50/1 8 places
Others on the short list who we also liked the look off are below:
CHRISTIAAN BEZUIDENHOU (RSA) 40/1
ALEXANDER BJORK (SWE) 90/1
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA (IND) 150/1