It’s a few weeks later than planned but the European Tour’s flagship event at HQ is finally here. The BMW PGA Championship is comfortably the strongest field of the year so far, with the likes of World No 9 Patrick Reed here among others. Below I’ll go through who I fancy to take the title at Wentworth, but first…
- Related: Why Nick Dougherty is backing an English winner at Wentworth
- Related: Nick Dougherty’s secrets to winning at Wentworth
Venue: Wentworth, Surrey, England
Date: October 8-11, 2020
Course stats: Par 72; 7,284 yards
Course summary: This iconic Harry Colt design is a picturesque course that is easily recognisable to golf fans all over the world. This venue is a challenging heathland track, with tight undulating fairways. The course’s main defence is wind, strategically placed bunkers, and thick rough. Bentgrass greens will deceive players, so experience on this surface is key.
Purse: $7 million
Defending champion: Danny Willett (-20)
BMW PGA Championship TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sport Golf and Main Event from 11.30am
Friday: Sky Sport Golf from 11.30am and Main Event from 11.50am
Saturday: Sky Sport Golf and Main Event from 10.30am
Sunday: Sky Sport Golf and Main Event from 10.30am
BMW PGA Championship: Staking Plan
Jordan Smith – 1pt e/w @ 66/1 with bet365
Nick Dougherty told NCG there will be an English winner at Wentworth, and I agree. Considering this course rewards players who hit their approach shots consistently well, Smith represents excellent value here. The Englishman is currently ranked 1st for GIR on the European Tour, and has shown signs of his best golf when 7th in Ireland two weeks ago. A top-25 finish at Wentworth last year is encouraging and after a run of respectable results on the European Tour, it may just be the right time to be on Smith this week.
Thomas Detry – 1.5pt e/w @ 50/1 with bet365
Despite a run of seven consecutive cuts made, including in his maiden appearance at the US Open, Detry is a big price at a course that should suit his game. The Belgian falls into the category of the best players yet to win on the European Tour, and you feel it won’t be long until he does. Detry is a wizard with the irons and wedges, ranking 6th for SG: Tee-to-Green and 14th for GIR on tour. As we all know, setting up opportunities for birdie is only half the job, but Detry certainly knows how to finish up, ranking 13th on tour for Putts-per-GIR. As one of the most consistently solid players on the circuit, this price could represent excellent each-way value at an event he will certainly be hoping to win.
Haotong Li – 1.5pt e/w @ 50/1 with bet365
It was not so long ago that Li held the 54-hole lead at the PGA Championship at Harding Park. As a player with undoubted talent, and incredible work ethic, Li will be looking at every opportunity to add to his two European Tour wins to date. A 14th place finish at last week’s Scottish Open signals a return to form, after a missed cut and a withdrawal in his previous two events. Li will certainly feel comfortable on the bentgrass putting surfaces, having played so well on them at Harding Park in the first major of the season. Setting up birdie opportunities should be no problem either, with Li ranking 27th for GIR on tour. If the Chinese star can progress from a strong performance last week, we can expect a challenge at Wentworth this week.
John Catlin – 1pt e/w @ 66/1 with bet365
The American can be forgiven for a missed cut at a tricky Renaissance Club last week, especially when considering he has two European Tour victories in his last four starts. Catlin navigated the undulating, fast, bentgrass greens at Valderrama on his way to sealing the first of his victories, and that experience will serve him well this week at Wentworth. Catlin also has strong and consistent approach play, ranking 38th for GIR on tour, which will be a big advantage. Another interesting statistic is that he ranks 1st for scrambling, which should aid a smooth recovery when inevitably out of position at times on this tough course. A third win in five starts would be quite something, but I believe Catlin has a great chance of an each-way return at a very generous price.
For more prices, visit bet365.