While we saw some exciting golf at the curtain-raising Greenbrier Classic last week, the new PGA Tour has started in low-key fashion. We have another tournament in the US starting on Thursday but once again, we have a mix of rookies and old pros looking to make an early impression.
In contrast, some big names are in Europe this week for the BMW PGA Championship. So we are going to cross the pond for this preview, where Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Tony Finau and Paul Casey are among those teeing it up.
We mentioned McIlroy (+550 with Bovada sports betting site) and the Northern Irishman is one of the shortest priced favorites that we’ve seen for some time. With an impressive record in this event, McIlroy is several points ahead of the pack and some good form ahead of Thursday makes him a logical choice to lead the betting market.
Rory won the BMW PGA in 2014 and was a solo runner-up to Francesco Molinari last year but many punters will find those odds to be too short for comfort. While recent results have been solid and he has three wins already in 2019, the weight of expectation often counts against our favorite.
In contrast to McIlroy’s win price, there should be plenty of value in the bunch of golf players behind him, which is led by Jon Rahm (+1000, aka 10/1) and is quickly followed by Justin Rose (16/1) and Paul Casey (14/1). Of those three, only Casey has won the BMW PGA while Rose is a dual runner-up.
Rahm is a more recent entry to the Tours and form suggests the Spaniard is a strong contender but Casey’s win at the Porsche European Open earlier this month could make him the better pick.
The prices start to drift out after these players but we still have some world class quality to come. Tommy Fleetwood (20/1) and Henrik Stenson (22/1) follow before we come to the United States’ first representative. A 25/1 shot, Tony Finau’s big booming drives may suit this Wentworth course in places but he needs to rediscover the form shown at the end of 2018.
Just behind Finau, Francesco Molinari, Patrick Reed and Shane Lowry are at 25/1 to 33/1 with various of the online American sportsbooks’ sites. As we mentioned, Molinari is our reigning champion and he followed up that 2018 triumph with his first Major title but the Italian has endured a difficult season after dropping out of contention at the US Masters on the final day.
Lowry took that Open Championship crown from Molinari but he has laid low since, while 2018 US Masters winner Reed is an inconsistent threat from a mid-range price.
The market lengthens to the outsiders now but there is no shortage of options as we make our way through the field. Alex Noren (40/1) is the 2017 BMW PGA Champion and a convert to the US Tour while Bernd Wiesberger (40/1) gave us a nice profit at the European Open two weeks ago. Another American, Billy Horschel (50/1), is attracting interest while Danny Willett (50/1) is just starting to show the form that made him an unlikely Major winner in 2016.
Elsewhere, Martin Kaymer, Joost Luiten, Lee Westwood and Alexander Bjork are among some star names at tempting longer prices.
Our Preview’s BMW PGA Championship Predictions & Picks Verdict with Course & Betting Trends
The PGA Championship was founded in 1955 and traditionally it has been played in May to coincide with a public holiday in the UK. This year, we saw a change to scheduling of the Majors and that has seen a switch to the end of the season. It looks to be a beneficial move as we have a stronger field including those visitors from the US, so long may the pattern continue. The indicators aren’t that good for the Americans however as we have to go back to 1975 for their most recent triumph as Arnold Palmer won by two shots at Royal St George’s.
The BMW PGA has been held at the Wentworth Club since 1984 and the current course is a par 72 at a shade over 7300 yards. Redesigned by Ernie Els, distance can be a factor in places but the tree-lined fairways make accuracy off the tee the main factor.
We are torn between three names this week. Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood have the form and the ability to respond well to home crowds. It is a tough call but for our BMW PGA Championship prediction this preview will pick Rose to edge it with Casey and Fleetwood among our Top Ten tips.
- Take Justin Rose to win at best odds of +1600 with Bovada. He is a 14/1 shot with the other U.S. bookies.