Joaquin Niemman (22/1) was in the team that landed the spoils for us at The Greenbrier last week – this week sees one of the European Tour’s flagship events, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
There is a fantastic field assembled for its new September slot with the headline attraction being Rory McIlroy.
The tree-lined parkland course plays to a par 72 layout measuring 7,284 yards. The key to success here is to find fairways and to scramble and putt well.
Like all par 72’s – taking care of the par 5’s is vital.
The first question we have to ask ourselves is are we with or against Rory, who is the class horse in the field and the most likely winner. My suspicion though is that since his last outing in Switzerland, Rory could be a bit rusty and I am happy to pass on the favourite in a tournament where Paddy is paying the first 8 places.
Behind Rory in the market we have the powerhouses of European golf with Jon Rahm, Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Shane Lowry and both halves of Moliwood (Tommy Fleetwood & reigning champ Francesco Molinairi) all teeing it up.
Second favourite Rahm is making his Wentworth debut while Rose and Casey have failed to flourish here in recent years. So we’ll start our team with the obvious claims of HENRIK STENSON @ 22/1.
The former Open Champion has been in great nick throughout the summer without getting over the line and he has been dialed-in with his long game, which is key here. He’s finished third and seventh in his last two visits to Wentworth and was third in the Scandinavian Open last time out.
Everything looks primed for a big week for the Swede and he gets our headline vote.
I can’t resist including Paddy’s Ambassador SHANE LOWRY in our team this week.
While you wouldn’t expect to find a tie to links course form with a parkland track in Surrey, Wentworth designer Harry Colt was also responsible for Royal Portrush and indeed Hamilton G&CC where Shane took runner-up honours in Canada in the summer.
Add this to the Irishman’s record of six top 15 finishes in his last eight starts at Wentworth and he can clearly be classed as a ‘Colt specialist’ and I am happy to take a chance that Shane will be raring to go at 28/1 on a course he clearly loves.
For our next pick I shall instead go further down the market and follow the link to Royal Portrush again with ROBERT MACINTYRE @ 60/1.
The Scot finished sixth at the Open Championship and his superb short-game touch should serve him well at Wentworth. Having proven in his short time on tour that he can produce the goods – I am keen to have him onside.
SAM HORSFIELD completes our team at 80/1. He ranks highly on par 5 scoring, was 15th on his debut here last year and with his strong form of late he is fancied to improve on that effort and make the first eight at good each-way odds.
I find it impossible to ignore the claims of SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER @ 22/1 in the Sanderson Farms Championship. The PGA tour rookie was seventh at last week’s Greenbrier Classic and he looks a perfect fit for this Par 72, 7,400 yard track.
At bigger odds, I’ll include ROBERTO CASTRO @ 80/1 where Paddy is also paying 8 places. Castro played solidly at the end of last season and having finished 57th last week he is fancied to step it up this time out at a venue which has seen him post top 5 finishes on his last two visits.
*Prices correct at time of publishing