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Stenson the favourite but home players could thrive

Stenson the favourite but home players could thrive

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This week sees the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, and there is the potential for plenty of drama on the revamped Wentworth course.

Rory McIlory’s withdrawal through a rib injury was undoubtedly a blow for the organisers but there is still a plethora of talent on show, most notably the reigning Open champion, Henrik Stenson.

The Swede is an 11/1 favourite and his ability to hit the ball long and straight off the tee makes it a surprise that he does not have a better record at Virginia Water.

Stenson’s form in 2017 is mixed to say the least, having missed the cut in three straight events before finishing in a tie for 16th at the Players Championship, but his showing at Sawgrass suggests he is back on track and should challenge.

Speaking of fine drivers of the ball, 12/1 second favourite Justin Rose is also worth a look. A runners-up finish at the Masters has undoubtedly been the highlight of his year and, despite failing to continue that form in recent weeks, there is every chance he could conquer the Surrey venue.

Francesco Molinari has been playing well and looks good at 16/1, while 19/1 for Alex Noren appears very generous. 2015 winner Byeong-Hun An’s results have been steadily improving and he is 21/1 to win this week.

Defending champion Chris Wood is 35/1 but he has been up and down this year and, although determined to make an impact, a top 10 at 33/10 could be more realistic.

As Wood’s win 12 months ago showed, home players are often inspired by playing at Wentworth and two Englishmen certainly stand out for their form this year.

Tyrell Hatton has been playing well in America, rising to 16th in the world but he only has one career victory to his name and 5/1 for a top five looks more sensible, although 22/1 for him to win is hugely tempting.

Tommy Fleetwood’s 27/1 for the tournament outright is equally interesting, especially as, unlike Hatton, he has a win to his name this year, while he also lost out in a play-off. Fleetwood is 13/5 to finish in the top 10, while Matthew Fitzpatrick is 3/1 in the same market.

As already mentioned, good drivers of the ball thrive at Wentworth and the excellent Thomas Pieters is 24/1 for the tournament outright, while the resurgent Ian Poulter is a tempting 39/1.

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Gareth Freeman Gareth is our daily tipster, who has years of successful sports betting behind him and is always on hand to offer a value bet. As well as a passion for Football (UK and European), he also has in-depth Tennis, Boxing, Snooker and Basketball knowledge.