It’s the marquee event on the European Tour, though you wouldn’t guess it from the field assembled at Wentworth this week! Nevertheless, the crowds will still be huge and the money on offer, enough to get anyone’s attention.
It’s no great surprise to see so many absentees, given the general condition and set-up of the course over recent years. It’s certainly a bit of a marmite course and those who don’t like it aren’t likely to fare too well.
The tournament has thrown up some high quality winners after a few mystery years around the turn of the century when the likes of Andrew Oldcorn and Scott Drummond got their names on the trophy.
There aren’t a great number of indicators when looking for horses to pick, other than course form and scrambling ability. Short hitters (Manassero & Khan) and Big-hitters (McIlroy & An) have won in equal numbers, but appears more likely that a player with experience of winning big events would come to the fore.
Recent years have seen a plethora of English winners and an incredible run of British players finishing in the top 2. We certainly think that course knowledge and proximity to home will play a huge part.
Luke Donald 28/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £370
The former world number one may not be at his imperious best these days, but he’s certainly on an upward curve having put in some encouraging performances of late. When faced with a course he simply adores recently, he put in a great shift to earn a runners-up spot at Hilton Head. There are very few players with a better record at Wentworth than two-time winner Donald, and having spent some time with him this week we reckon his should be confident of his chances.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello 28/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £370
On the sly, Rafa has had a pretty incredible season, recording a shed-load of top ten finishes and regularly impressing. He is developing into a big tournament player and has a great record here on the Burma Road. He’s on his way into Darren Clarke’s Ryder Cup team and having watched him on the range earlier today, he looks to have complete control of his game.
Soren Kjeldsen 40/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £520
The Dane is pretty much a local lad here, living just down the road. Anyone who though his win last year in the Irish Open was a rare high, will have been proven wrong this year. A superb 7th place finish at Augusta (which shouldn’t be his course at all) has been followed up by further strong finishes at Valderrama and a stout defence of his title last week at the K Club. He’s got plenty of experience at Wentworth having played every year since 1999, and won’t be phased by the length of the course. He know his game and has proven that he can compete anywhere now.
Tyrell Hatton 50/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £645
The second of three Englishmen in our selection, Hatton is currently on a hot streak. He can be an angry man at times, as he started to show with his putter not behaving on Sunday. Despite that he still recorded another top 5 finish. He’s had some strong rounds here before, but with confidence riding high, plenty of support and familiarity with the course this should be a good week for the man from Harleyford.
James Morrison 70/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £447.50
Our attention was moved toward the Surrey man with his top ten finish last week. He’s playing some good golf, and having won in Spain last year, may have a little more confidence and nous to press on if faced with a situation like 2012 when he led by 4 at the halfway stage. He’s another man who will have loads of local support – including ours!
Graeme McDowell 350/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential Return £510
G-Mac is nothing if not a fighter. He desperately wants a berth on Darren Clarke’s Ryder Cup Team and has been putting in some gritty performances as he accrues points. He didn’t quite get it going in Ireland last week but has shown enough to get our support. His accurate driving will be a huge advantage around the tight, tree-lined West course. Maybe we’ve been swayed by his huge social media campaign that he has mounted?