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BlogBMW PGA Champ. Preview and Picks

BMW PGA Championship

September 9th – 12th, 2021

Wentworth Club (West Course)

Virginia Water, Surrey, England

Par: 72 / Yardage:

Purse: $9.3 million

with $1,317,036 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Tyrrell Hatton

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 27 of the top 100 ranking players and 12 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Golf Rankings, with no players from the top-ten, here are the top-50 in the field: #14 Viktor Hovland, #17 Tyrrell Hatton, #26 Matt Fitzpatrick, 28 Billy Horschel, #33 Lee Westwood,  #37 Tommy Fleetwood, #39 Adam Scott, $40 Shane Lowry, #44 Christiaan Bezuidenhout #45 Justin Rose, #47 Garrick Higgo and #48 Ian Poulter.  Other notable players in the top-100 include #51 Victor Perez, #57 Branden Grace, #62 Alex Noren, #63 Bernd Wiesberger, #70 Matt Wallace, #71 Guido Migliozzi, #77 Thomas Detry, and #95 Justin Harding.  These folks need to be watched, if my chance they win this week, it could mean a Ryder Cup wild pick for the European Ryder Cup team.

Last year there were 14 top-50 players in the field.

The field includes 14 of the Top 25 on this year’s European Tour Race to Dubai money list.  Those players include #4 Billy Horschel, #7 Tyrrell Hatton,  #9 Min Woo Lee, #10 Viktor Hovland, #11 Guido Migliozzi, #12 Richard Bland, #14 Bernd Wiesberger, #15 Robert Macintyre, #16 Matt Fitzpatrick, #17 Tommy Fleetwood, #20 Calum Hill, #23 Justin Harding, #24 Thomas Detry and #25 Dean Burmester.

The field includes eight past champions: Tyrrell Hatton (2020), Danny Willett (2019), Francesco Molinari (2018), Alex Noren (2017), Chris Wood (2016), Matteo Manassero (2013), Miguel A. Jimenez (2008), and David Howell (2006).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the BMW PGA Championship field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the BMW PGA Championship in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the BMW PGA Championship.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the BMW PGA Championship

Player Tour Champ. Italian Open BMW Champ. European Masters Northern Trust Czech Masters Wyndham Champ. Cazoo Classic WGC FedEx St. Jude Hero Open Olympics Handa World 3M Open
Rasmus Hojgaard
(232 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP
Alex Noren
(210.17 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP T4
(120)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP
Calum Hill
(205.67 pts)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Sean Crocker
(205.33 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Henrik Stenson
(205 pts)
DNP T15
(35)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Viktor Hovland
(203 pts)
T5
(105)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP T43
(10.5)
DNP DNP DNP T36
(14)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP DNP
Masahiro Kawamura
(181.67 pts)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP T55
(0)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP
Johannes Veerman
(172 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Nicolai Hojgaard
(171 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Adrian Meronk
(156 pts)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP DNP
Matthew Jordan
(150.33 pts)
DNP T15
(35)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(2)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Shane Lowry
(140.17 pts)
DNP DNP T26
(36)
DNP T11
(58.5)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(27)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP
Billy Horschel
(129 pts)
T9
(67.5)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP T31
(28.5)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tommy Fleetwood
(126.67 pts)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP T46
(4)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP
Alexander Levy
(124.67 pts)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP T38
(8)
DNP T26
(16)
DNP
Bernd Wiesberger
(123.33 pts)
DNP T46
(4)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Richard Bland
(120 pts)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tapio Pulkkanen
(113 pts)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Shubhankar Sharma
(105 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP T50
(1)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(30)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP
Adam Scott
(99 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-15)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T36
(14)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jordan Smith
(98 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(30)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP
James Morrison
(97.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
David Horsey
(97.67 pts)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP
Callum Shinkwin
(97 pts)
DNP T46
(4)
DNP DNP DNP T33
(17)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
John Catlin
(91.67 pts)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP
Ross Mcgowan
(90.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP T23
(27)
DNP 67
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Grant Forrest
(87.33 pts)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Dean Burmester
(86 pts)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP 6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ashley Chesters
(85.33 pts)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP T15
(23.33)
DNP
Branden Grace
(85 pts)
DNP DNP T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-15)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jamie Donaldson
(83.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Guido Migliozzi
(83 pts)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T32
(12)
DNP DNP
Lee Westwood
(77.5 pts)
DNP DNP T34
(24)
DNP T27
(34.5)
DNP DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Francesco Laporta
(75.33 pts)
DNP 4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T32
(12)
DNP
Joost Luiten
(70 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Daniel Van Tonder
(69.67 pts)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP T45
(5)
DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Daniel Gavins
(69.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T38
(8)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP
Ian Poulter
(68.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(28.5)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Min Woo Lee
(67 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 62
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Marcus Armitage
(66.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(8)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP
Renato Paratore
(61.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP T50
(1)
DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP
Edoardo Molinari
(60 pts)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Victor Perez
(57.67 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP T50
(1)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
61
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Mikko Korhonen
(53.33 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sam Horsfield
(52 pts)
DNP T15
(35)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the BMW PGA Championship

Player Tour Champ. Italian Open BMW Champ. European Masters Northern Trust Czech Masters Wyndham Champ. Cazoo Classic WGC FedEx St. Jude Hero Open Olympics Handa World 3M Open
Haydn Porteous
(-46.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP
David Howell
(-45 pts)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Marc Warren
(-40 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Cormac Sharvin
(-40 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Graeme Storm
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Robert Rock
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Ricardo Santos
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T63
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Joel Stalter
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Stephen Gallacher
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Matthieu Pavon
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

So for the PGA Tour, 2021 is in the history book, and as we look at the year, it will be hard to pick Player-of-the-Year.  Now because of COVID-19, there were a record 51 events played.  Now, if Jon Rahm would have won the Tour Championship and the FedExCup, it would have been an easy choice.  Rahm was the most consistent player on tour, the only problem was he only won once, but his U.S. Open victory was enormous.  In his 23 starts, Rahm was in the top ten 16 times, and he is now on top of the Official World Golf Rankings.  But we can’t sneeze over Patrick Cantlay’s year. In 24 starts, he won four times at the Zozo Championship, Memorial, BMW Championship, and the Tour Championship.  Despite only having 7 top-ten finishes, the way he played at the last two events, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship, will probably tip the voting for him.  He is 4th in the World Rankings for the year, moving up for 9th at the end of 2020.  His only problem is the majors and the Players.  He missed the cut at the Players Championship, Masters, and British Open, while he was only T-23rd at the PGA Championship and T-15th at the U.S. Open.  While Cantlay struggled in golf’s most important championship, on the other hand, Rahm shined. He was T-9th at the Players Championship, T-5th at the Masters, T-8th at the PGA Championship, won the U.S. Open, and T-3rd at the U.S. Open. These finishes carry a lot of weight in Player of the year honors.  Yes, Cantlay was great when it counted the most, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship, but on the whole, Rahm did have the better season.

The PGA Tour has a rare week off…

as it gets ready for the 2022 season opener in Napa next week at the renamed Fortinet Championship.  Making next week more special is a new crop of players off the Korn Ferry points list that didn’t happen when the Safeway Championship started the 2021 season.  So we spotlight the European Championship and the BMW Championship.

This is the most prestigious event on the European Tour…

It’s played on a classic old course Wentworth, about 20 miles west of London.  Over the years, it’s had a tough time getting a top-notch field as some European Tour members took passes to play on the PGA Tour instead of its tours premiere events. Making it easier for marquee names to play in this event, in 2019, it was moved from May to September, but that hasn’t helped.  Because the Ryder Cup is played in America at the end of the month, many great European players are taking a pass this year.  So we won’t see Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia. Amazing since Garcia is on the bubble on getting one of the captains’ picks.  Some other players not in the field include Paul Casey and Jon Rahm.

Last month we saw a new alliance between the PGA and European Tours when they made the European Tours Scottish Open an official event on both tours.  To reciprocate that, the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship will be duel events on both tours.  This is the first step in what could be an authentic World Tour.  We thought that we were getting that in 1999 when the World Golf Championships have been formed. But they have turned into nothing more than glorified PGA Tour evens.  In the beginning, the goal was that the four events would be played worldwide, but the only one that lived up to that was the WGC-Mexico Championship.  Called the WGC-American Express Championship, the first two were held in Spain, then moved to Ireland.  In 2003 when the event was played for the year in Atlanta, the truth because that there were many problems with playing around the world.  When played in Spain, they didn’t get the fan interest and big-time sponsorships.  Another major problem was the time change. When played in Spain, six hours ahead of the east coast, it meant that the end would come at Noon on the east coast, which didn’t work.  In 2000 when the WGC-Match Play was moved to Australia, not only did the 13 hour time change hamper the event.  Many of the top players didn’t want to get on an airplane to fly down to Australia, to possibly losing in the first round.  So Australia wasn’t used again.  The World Golf federation got a break in 2013 when Chinese sponsors of the HSBC Champions wanted to upgrade.  Under the umbrella was the WGC-team championship, which didn’t get any genuine interest, so they dumped the team format, and the Chinese sponsors got the WGC-HSBC Champions.  It played in November, and in China, they got a fair amount of marquee players, and yes, it was played in the middle of the night on Golf Channel.  So they kept things going, but COVID-19 caused the 2020 event to be canceled, and now the 2021 event has also been canceled.  The news is this event will probably not come back next year as a WGC-event.  For 2022 the PGA Tour has now canceled two of the four WGC-events, the one played in Mexico and the one that was in Memphis.  In a way, this will help the PGA Tour. The Mexico event was wedged between the West Coast and Florida swing, which hurt the Florida swing.  The WGC-Match Play and the Players Championship, all played in March, made for a crowded time of year.  So with the WGC-HSBC not being played this year, plus the end of the WGC event in Mexico and Memphis has opened up the schedule and won’t be missed.  So of the four WGC events, it’s now down to just the Match Play, which is unique and can find a future.

So on the surface, it looks like three WGC events are gone.  But that has now opened this new alliance with the European Tour.  With the Scottish Open on the schedule for next year, there are rumors that more events will combine.  Supposedly the Irish Open, which is the week before the Scottish Open, may join the alliance. Who knows, maybe the French Open, Italian Open, and German Open will possibly join.  But before these happen, I seriously think that the BMW PGA Championship could be the next, even with a new alliance.  With the event moving to September, it makes sense that it is very doable also to be played on the PGA Tour.  Who knows, maybe some other September European tour events could also join.  The Omega European Masters is very popular and played in Switzerland.  The Alfred Dunhill Links played the first week of October could be ripe for the PGA Tour. At the same time, we are adding more events onto the PGA Tour, who knows if the South African Open and the Australian Open could also be a part of the alliance.  These are both essential national championships that are having problems surviving, and that move could make a fall schedule special.

So yes, this year’s BMW PGA Championship will be missing many marquee names, but I can see nothing but this event being elevated in future years.

Last, very interesting article in Golf Digest by John Huggan.  

With the Ryder Cup just three weeks from now, John Huggan looked at the course that will hold the 2023 Cup.  Last week the Italian Open was played at Marco Simone Golf Club just outside of Rome.  The course will hold the 2023 Ryder Cup and of those that played it for the first time last week, there weren’t many folks raving about it.  The consensus is that the course isn’t bad, but on the same level not very good.  Many hated all of the blind shots from the fairway to the greens, others had other issues while some complained about what poor shape the course was.  To be honest, what they did was take a course that was already there and revamped it in a major way.  It just opened up in the spring and of course, needs some more time to be better.  At the same time, they have two full years before the Ryder Cup is played so maybe they will take the criticism and make some changes to make the course better.  Unfortunately with all of the great courses in Europe, it’s a shame to play such an important event on a sub-standard test.  But it’s all about the money and like they did in Ireland in 2006, Wales in 2010, and Gleneagles in 2014 money is more important than playing on a classic course.  Unfortunately, Italy doesn’t have any really great course, but there are some options instead of going to Marco Simone.  But the advantage of playing at this course is that it’s only 16 miles from Rome and has more of a chance for a big crowd and a lot of sponsorship plus hospitality facilities.

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Viktor Hovland – $11,300
  • Shane Lowry – $10,800
  • Tyrrell Hatton – $10,600
  • Matt Fitzpatrick – $10,300
  • Tommy Fleetwood – $10,100
  • Billy Horschel – $10,000
  • Ian Poulter – $9,800
  • Alex Noren – $9,600
  • Adam Scott – $9,400
  • Lee Westwood – $9,300
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout – $9,200
  • Henrik Stenson – $9,100
  • Justin Rose – $9,000

The high price talent for this week: Great to play DraftKings this week.  I will say this, I make more money with my European Tour picks over PGA Tour because there aren’t as many savvy people that play in European Tour games.  So take advantage that the competition is not as good.  Like anything else, always be leery of these high price guns.  A perfect example is Viktor Hovland at $11,300.  For Viktor, he is playing in his sixth event in the seven weeks and in the last two months have gone from America to England to Japan back to America, and now back to England.  On the surface, Hovland is a good pick, but since winning the BMW International at the end of June, he has only finished in the top ten once in six events.  That top ten was a T-5th at the Tour Championship, so that should help him.  Hovland does have one start at Wentworth and that was a T-11th in 2019 so yes he can play well on this course.  But again be careful, the price for Hovland is very dear and you have to get a top-three to make it worthwhile.  Same with Shane Lowry at $10,800.  He has played well, but not great.  Since finishing T-6th at the Memorial his best finish is T-11th since, at the Northern Trust.  He did have last week off giving him a fresher look into this week, plus he has a long record at Wentworth.  He has played in this event 11 times, and he has made 10 cuts with eight top=-15 finishes, so yes he is worth the price.  He was 2nd in 2014, T-4th in 2011, and of late was T-6th in 2017.  He was T-13th last year and T-11th in 2019 so he plays well at Wentworth.  His game has been sharp since finishing 8th at the Players Championship.  In 14 events he has made the cut in all 14 and has three top-tens including a T-4th at the PGA Championship.  He was ok at the FedExCup playoffs finishing T-11th at the Northern Trust and T-26th at the BMW Championship.  So between his most recent play plus a strong Wentworth record he is worth the money.  Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton goes off at $10,600 and he is someone that may great a lot of money bet on him.  But other than that win he missed the cut in his two previous BMW PGA start and has not played well since winning at Abu Dhabi last January.  In this stretch in 16 events, he has three top-tens, the best being T-2nd at the Palmetto Championship.  But since then has struggled only making three cuts in six starts.  So I say no, not worthy of a pick at his high price.  Matt Fitzpatrick at $10,300 is a good pick, even though he is a lot of money.  In 5 starts at the BMW PGA, he has two top tens, including a T-7th last year.  Not bad considering he shot 76 in the third round.  For 2021 he has been ok, was T-2nd at the Scottish Open, the only blip in this was he missed the cut at the Northern Trust and Italy, but I am not worried over that.  Tommy Fleetwood at $10,100 will be a popular choice based on the fact that he has always been high in the Race to Dubai, in 2019 he was 2nd.  But this year he is 17th on the list and his record is weak at Wentworth.  In 9 starts has only finished in the top-20, three times the best being T-6th in 2015.  His year has been dismal since March but he finished T-2nd a the Italian Open last week so that will get a lot of support.  But for me, he is not a great pick at an overrated price.  At first, seeing Billy Horschel at $10,000 I thought what?  But he does play in Europe, was T-4th in 2019 and the price is about right.  Since winning the Match Play in March, he has done very little other than a T-4th in the team Zurich Classic but was T-9th last week at East Lake.  I have to say it’s a toss-up pick, I say no because of his price.  Ian Poulter at $9,800.  His price is fair, but I think too high.  He won’t win this week but could get a top ten.  This is his last chance to impress Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington.  But I think he makes the team no matter what he shots this week.  Poulter has two top-tens in 17 starts at Wentworth, his best being a 5th last year.  So he knows how to play the course plus has been solid in his last nine tournaments including a T-3rd at the Charles Schwab and T-4th at Scottish Open.  I am going to pick him in some of my bets.  Alex Noren at $9,600 is too high and probably based on him winning this event in 2017.  His play this year has been weak, but was T-4th at the Rocket Morgage and Northern Trust so for some they will pick him.  Adam Scott at $9,400 is a no for me, hasn’t played this event since missing the cut in 2006 and for the year other than a T-2nd at Wyndham has not been very consistent this year so he is a no for me.  Same with Lee Westwood at $9,300.  Yes has played at the BMW PGA 27 times, but in that span only finished in the top ten five times.  Was 2nd in 2000 and 2011.  But for the year has been consistent but has not played well since his runner-up finish at the Players Championship.  So it’s a big no for me.  Am very shock at the high price for Christiaan Bezuidenhout at $9,200.  He is that high because he was 3rd at Wentworth in 2019 but dropped to T-40th last year.  Despite not being in the top ten on the PGA Tour since his 7th at the Arnold Palmer.  Had to participate in the Korn Ferry finals and was able to secure his PGA Tour card thanks to finishing 3rd at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.  I think he will be a great pick for this year.  The last two players I can’t see why they are ranked so high.  First Henrik Stenson at $9,100 not only has not played well at Wentworth but is really gearing it down.  Yes, he was T-3rd in 2017 and T-7th in 2014 but has never liked the course.  He was also in his prime then.  Now the reason he is so high of a cost he was T-4th at the Czech Masters, 3rd a the European Masters in Switzerland, and T-15th last week in Italy.  But I don’t think that good form will continue this week, but of course, I could be wrong.  The same with Justin Rose at $9,000, who has been runner-up twice at BMW PGA in 2027 and 2012.  Since he has been consistent but nothing really great, that along with his play in 2021 hasn’t been that great, yes he was T-10th in his last start at the Wyndham but not good enough to spend the money on him.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Now is going to be the time to find some good picks.  But it’s hard, an example is Robert Macintyre at $8,900.  He is a possible star in the future but hasn’t shown that he is a good pick this week. Has been in the Korn Ferry finals and missed the cut in his last two starts, plus his T-58th last year and T-28th in 2020 at Wentworth doesn’t strike us as a good pick.  Same with Bernd Wiesberger at $8,800, he has played well this year finishing 2nd two weeks ago in Switzerland and winning at the Made in Himmerland.  But in nine starts at Wentworth has not gotten a top ten, so can’t recommend him.  Sam Horsfield at $8,500 is a guy that is on the border, but he finished T-15th in 2018 and has played well enough to recommend him.  Garrick Higgo at $8,300 is another person that we think is a star of the future.  He was T-27th at Wentworth last year and won three times in two months including winning the Palmetto Championship in June.  Has struggled of late, we shake our heads in recommending him with a missed cut last week in Italy.  But his price is low enough and he is a really good player on tough courses.  Another person to gamble on is Francesco Molinari at $8,200.  Yes, he has not played well in 2021 and hasn’t played well since the start of 2019.  But his record at Wentworth is great with a win in 2018, he was 2nd in 2017 and I feel that he will like being back at Wentworth and do well.  But at the same time, he could miss the cut, so it’s a feel bet with him.  It’s been pretty negative so far and to add how about Victor Perez at $8,000.  Again a player who could be a star, this week is very important for him to get a possible wild card pick at the Ryder Cup.  Despite not playing great since the Match Play in March, he was runner-up in his only Wentworth start last year.  So have to take him, the price is right.  Another borderline player is Matt Wallace at $7,900.  He has not been spectacular at Wentworth but held his own with a T-24th last year.  Has been off and on all year, we have to think he will do well this week.  Another borderline player to take is Sam Crocker at $7,800.  He missed the cut last year at Wentworth, but was T-31st the year before and T-15th in 2018.  What I like is that in his last three starts, was T-2nd at Czech Masters, T-4th at the European Masters, and T-18th in Italy.  Some other guys in this price range are Thomas Pieters and any Sullivan, both at $7,500. Both have ok records at Wentworth, like that Sullivan was T-3rd last year.  They also have been ok in 2021 so they are worth the gamble.

Any bargains out there?

This week it’s hard to find any bargains.  What I am looking for is someone that can make a lot of birdies and make the cut.  One person that comes out of left field is Dean Burmester at $7,300.  Yes, he missed the cut at Wentworth in 2020 and ’19 but was T-12th in 2018 and T-9th in 2017.  His year has been pretty consistent, he won at Tenerife in May and has made his last five starts including a 6th at the Czech Masters.  Marcus Armitage at $7,300 is another good gamble, has never played at Wentworth but has played ok of late including T-7th in Switzerland.  Masahiro Kawamura at $7,300 is another good choice, he was T-20th in his first start at Wentworth last year and has played well on the European Tour including T-5th in Italy.  Alexander Levy at $7,100 is also worth the gamble, he will make the cut to getting you points.  One other person to take a gamble on is Callum Shinkwin at $7,000 he has played well in 2021.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the BMW PGA Championship.

The key stat for the winner:

Wentworth is a classic shotmaker course, that is why those that hit lots of greens like Luke Donald have done well at Wentworth.  Having a short game is also important because for those that miss the greens, getting it up and down is tough as there are a lot of bumps and knolls around these greens.  But the key to playing well is to hit lots of greens like 2016 winner Chris Wood who was T-4th in greens hit.  Even better is what Byeong-Hun An did in 2015, he only missed 11 greens all week leading the field in greens hit.  To show how important it is to hit greens, going back to 2009 all of the champions but Rory McIlroy were in the top ten of greens hit.  Last year Tyrell Hatton was T-25th which isn’t bad.

Since major work was done on Wentworth in 2011, the par 4s are really tough, some of the hardest on the European Tour with five of the 12 playings over 449 yards.  In the last five years, 98% of those that made the cut have played the par 4s in 5.8 over par so you can see how Luke Donald won in 2012 when he played the 4s in 3 under, Matteo Manassero was 1 over in his ’13 win, Rory McIlroy played the par 4s in 1 under in 2014, Byeong-Hun An was 3 under on the par 4s in 2015 and Chris Wood was 2 under on them in 2016, last year’s winner Tyrrell Hatton was 2 under.

On top of new greens that went in before the 2017 event a lot of other things have been done to Wentworth.  29 bunkers were completely removed as every bunker on the course was redesigned and rebuilt.  So now it’s a lot tougher if you hit it into one of them.  Hopefully, with these changes and the ones a couple of years ago, it will be more appealing to the players.

On the weather, the good news is the weekend will be perfect but expect rain on Thursday and Friday.  Winds will be light and it should help the players.  Temperatures will be perfect as it will be 70 on each of the four days.

Who to watch for at the BMW PGA Championship

Best Bets:

Viktor Hovland

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T11

His game is perfect for the course, if he putts well he will win. Expect him to be in the running over the weekend.

Victor Perez

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
2

Last year being runner-up in his first start showed us he is going to enjoy Wentworth. Look for a great week.

Francesco Molinari

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T14 Win 2 T55 5 T7 T9 T7 T50 T17 T35

Yes it would be the surprise of the year, but think Molinari’s game is in a good place and returns to a venue he has had a lot of success on.

Best of the rest:

Billy Horschel

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T4

Just like Perez, in Billy’s first Wentworth, start in 2019 was T-4th. The course is very good for his game.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T40 3

Was 3rd at Wentworth in 2019, he comes back from America with his PGA Tour card after finishing 3rd at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.

Shane Lowry

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T13 T11 T15 T6 CUT T6 2 T12 T68 T4 T65

Have been watching him all summer and felt he is ready to win again. Wentworth has the reputation for off-the-wall winners, Shane could be one of them.

Tyrrell Hatton

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
Win CUT CUT T30 T7 T46 T38

Defending champion will find a way to contend again.

Ian Poulter

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
5 T60 T20 T40 T26 CUT T10 T18 CUT

Feels he needs a good finish to make the Ryder Cup team, which is very important for him so look for a good week from him.

Robert MacIntyre

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T58 T28

Yes he isn’t playing his best, but feel he would really like to win this week.

Solid contenders

Garrick Higgo

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T27

Looking to regain the good play that he had in the spring.

Andy Sullivan

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T3 74 T35 T30 T22 17 T26 CUT

Has a solid record at Wentworth and can achieve a lot.

Matt Wallace

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T24 T41 T20 CUT

Guy has the game, if he gets hot with the putter will do very well.

Long shots that could come through:

Sam Horsfield

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T31 T15

2021 has been a good year, a win this week would make it perfect.

Guido Migliozzi

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT CUT

Yes he has missed the cut both times he has played here, but look for good things from him.

Rasmus Højgaard

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

Winning in Switzerland has put him in a different level.

Guys I don’t like this week:

Tommy Fleetwood

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T13 T60 T20 CUT 69 T6 CUT T24 T49

2021 has been a terrible year for him, look for that to continue.

Bernd Wiesberger

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T40 T17 T30 T15 CUT T46 T12 T53 CUT

Has never played well at Wentworth, look for that to continue.

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