The European Tour is now back in Europe for the summer months with some exciting tournaments ahead but nothing beats the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. It is the tour’s flagship event and has attracted a field that boats 18 major wins between them. The majority of the European Ryder Cup team is taking part as are a string of previous winners of the event. The fans who descend on Surrey will be sure to see some glorious golf.
With almost 100 years of history, the West Course at Wentworth is worthy of the PGA Championship. It plays around 7,300 yards with five par five holes contributing to the par of 73. The big hitters will have an advantage but only if they combine their distance with accuracy. There are a plethora of strategically placed bunkers to navigate and anyone who misses the fairway by too much will have tree trouble.
The man to beat this week is clearly Rory McIlroy. His win at Quail Hollow made it three for the season and showed once again that he is the best golfer in the world. It is going to be a long time before McIlroy’s best golf isn’t enough to win tournaments. The only negative about the defending champion this week is the fact that this is now four tournaments in a row and he only touched down in London in the early hours of Monday morning. If he gets adequate rest and brings anything close to his A game to Wentworth the 11/4 favourite with Coral will win.
There are others who could be in with a chance of course. Not only is Lee Westwood one of the best golfers ever to have not won a major, he is one of the biggest fans of the West Course never to have picked up the PGA Championship trophy. The 42-year-old has finished runner-up twice (most recently in 2011) but it is puzzling why he’s never gone the distance at a course that should suit his game down to a tee. Westwood is a great driver of the ball who will cope well with the distance of Wentworth and he’s putted well while winning two tournaments out of his last 11. Such is the power of McIlroy at the top of the betting that Westwood, the third favourite, is 33/1 with Coral.
Although this is a huge event on the European Tour, the American Brooks Koepka offers a great bit of value at 50/1 with BetVictor. The big hitter won his first event on the PGA Tour at the Phoenix Open this year having made a name for himself first on the Challenge Tour and then the European Tour. He will gobble up many of these par fives and just needs to get his short game and putting firing to have a genuine chance of upsetting the European fans. The 25-year-old will be a fixture at the biggest events for years to come and could well come up against some of the players in this field at Ryder Cups to come. Back him each-way to potentially profit even if Rory defends his title.