With our main team bets all in place for the BMW PGA Championship, it is time to turn our attention to the speciality markets that Paddy have priced up, including first round leader.
With calm, pleasant conditions in the forecast for most of the week including Thursday there doesn’t appear to be any great advantage to be had for either side of the draw on day one.
With that in mind I’ll take one player from each half of the draw starting with a player who was in our outright team in Holland last week, Gavin Green who tees of at 10.15am.
The Malaysian has been knocking on the door for a while now and while he faded somewhat disappointingly in Amsterdam, he got off to his now customary fast Thursday start. Delve a bit further and we actually see that Green’s last seven day-one efforts read 67 65 66 64 67 66 66.
Basically while Gavin is yet to unlock the key to four days of success on tour he certainly knows how to play on Thursdays.
I am happy to take the 80-1 for him to be fast out of the blocks again this week in the first-round leader market where Paddy is playing 7 places.
I will also roll the dice with Matthew Fitzpatrick who tees of at 12.30pm.
We sided with the Yorkshireman last time out when he was attempting to land a three-peat in the Omega Masters and unfortunately he never really got going. Prior to that though Fitzpatrick had been in great form posting back to back top five finishes.
With improving form figures at Wentworth culminating in an eighth place finish last year, Fitzpatrick was close to making our main team for the week, but I do expect a strong showing from him. With opening rounds of 64 and 67 in his two big finishes of late, he makes plenty of appeal in this market at 35/1.
In the top nationality markets and with Paddy paying to 3 places I am happy to take my chances with Dean Burmester in the Top South African Market at 12-1.
If we turn the clock back 12 months plus and the obvious candidate would have been Branden Grace, who has a fantastic record at Wentworth. Grace, however has been a shadow of his former self this year and while it is possible he could come good at one of his favourite tracks the man to beat now in this market is the in-form and recent winner Erik Van Rooyen.
At four times the odds of Van Rooyen though, Burmester boasts two top 12 finishes in two visits to Wentworth and having finished third as recently as three starts ago, his game is clearly in decent shape.
I am also happy to take on Gavin Green and the favourite Hao Tong Li, in the Top Asian market with Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 4/1. ‘The Barnrat’ has become a man for the big stage over recent years and with conditions anticipated to be firm this week his strong, short game, should serve him well.
Having finished 14th and fifth here over the past two years, he has now got Wentworth worked out and I expect another strong showing from him this time around.
Finally, in the Top 30 Finish market I like the look of the Swede Alexander Bjork at 9/5. Bjork has been in a steady run of form of late finishing in the top 30 in each of his last four starts and in his two previous trips to Wentworth he has posted finishes of 27th and 14th.
The 29-year-old landed his first European Tour title at the Volvo China Open last year so he certainly shouldn’t be overawed in this company and I expect him to have another strong showing this time out.
*Prices correct at time of posting