Dave Tindall assesses the mood of the players and arms you with the stats that matter for a punt on the Top 5 and Top 10 Finish markets in the BMW PGA Championship...
"Top 10s in two of this year's four majors shows he still has the class and ability to raise his game in the big events and another T10 at the Wyndham on his latest start adds another layer of reassurance."
Viktor Hovland - Norwegian looks deserved favourite
"It is a tournament I would always watch growing up in Norway, so I'm excited to now get the chance to play in it," said Hovland ahead of his debut in 2019. He finished T11 and, talking about it at last week's Tour Championship where he finished T4, the Norwegian said: "Played there two years ago. Like the course. Crowd is amazing. I just want to go back there and play some golf." His last return to Europe resulted in a victory in June's BMW International Open (-19) in Germany and it's hard to see him not featuring on the leaderboard this week. Note his impressive Top 5 percentage.
Last four events: 4-17-43-36
Wentworth form: 11
Last 50 starts - Win: 6%, Top 5: 22%, Top 10: 24%
Shane Lowry - Irishman is course horse
Lowry has a fantastic Wentworth record: eight top 15s and four of those doubling as top sixes. "I love everything about it. I love staying down in Coral Park and I love coming here and playing the golf course. The fans here, the best of the year by far." His current form looks solid enough although a less encouraging stat is that Lowry has managed just two top fives in 52 starts since his memorable Open Championship victory at Royal Portrush in the summer of 2019.
Last four events: 26-11-23-22
Wentworth form: 13-11-15-6-MC-6-2-12-68-4-65
Last 50 starts - Win: 0%, Top 5: 4%, Top 10: 12%
Tyrrell Hatton - Defending champion paints mixed picture
"It's obviously good memories coming back here. To be honest I only live sort of 25, 35 minutes away anyway. Been lucky enough to play here numerous times when I've been back here in the UK to the point where it almost feels a bit like a second home course. So yeah, I feel pretty comfortable out there, and hopefully I can have a good week this week. I know my form's not been that great for the last sort of three or four months maybe. But hopefully I can find something this week." There are pluses and negatives to be taken from those comments and deciding how to read them isn't helped by a course record which has highs and lows too.
Last four events: MC-17-MC-18
Wentworth form: 1-MC-MC-30-7-46-38
Last 50 starts - Win: 8%, Top 5: 18%, Top 10: 34%
Matt Fitzpatrick - Strong Wentworth form a plus
"Definitely. Definitely does," said Fitzpatrick in Tuesday's press conference when asked if the course suits him. "Thing that stands out around here is that you have to drive it well and you have to putt well. Those are two things that I've done very well this year, so hopefully take it on into this week as well." With three top 12s in his last four appearances, he has the numbers to back up his words although he arrives at Wentworth on the back of missed cuts in The Northern Trust (73-70) and the Italian Open (72-73). Generally, his record in European Tour events is excellent though as shown by seven top 10s in his last 12 regular ET tournaments.
Last four events: MC-MC-57-26
Wentworth form: 7-46-8-12-47
Last 50 starts - Win: 2%, Top 5: 14%, Top 10: 34%
Alex Noren - 2017 winner in good nick again
The Swede has special memories of Wentworth after shooting a final round career-best 62 to win the 2017 BMW PGA Championship after starting the day seven back. That's the highlight but he was also T8 in 2015 and third when defending in 2018. Wind back and he was T6 in 2008. After a spell in the doldrums he's on the up again and improved his world ranking to 62nd after T4 (Northern Trust) and T9 (BMW Championship) in the two FedEx Cup Playoff events he played. A missed putt at 18 cost him a spot in the Tour Championship but that might just make him a little fresher for this week.
Last four events: 9-4-16-MC
Wentworth form: 28-3-1-43-8-WD-32-21-MC-74-21-6-MC
Last 50 starts - Win: 0%, Top 5: 6%, Top 10: 14%
Tommy Fleetwood - Italy second boosts Englishman
"I've always loved playing here and playing in front of crowds and having moments that get the crowd fired up. Game still needs to improve. Last week (runner-up in Italian Open) hit a lot of good golf shots. It was great to be up at the right end of the leaderboard and have a chance and be in contention. I hit a couple of wrong shots at the wrong time and didn't quite get over the line." Fleetwood is often on the radar for punters in this event but perhaps him using the word "moments" is revealing. The Englishman has had an albatross in this event but the bottom line is that his overall record shows just one top 10 in nine appearances.
Last four events: 2-65-46-16
Wentworth form: 13-60-20-MC-69-6-MC-24-49
Last 50 starts - Win: 2%, Top 5: 18%, Top 10: 26%
Billy Horschel - PGA star a fan of Wentworth
"I grew up watching this event on TV. It was the first week we were out of school and European Tour comes on early and so I was up early watching it and absolutely loved what I saw on TV from the course to the crowds and just the history of the event. When I came here in 2019, it was everything it lived up to be and more. It was just a blast. I finished fourth. It was a great week. The crowds are great for me. I love the course. Fell in love with the golf course like I thought I would and so hopefully this week I can do a little better than T4." There's the somewhat surprising course form sorted. As for current form? A top seven at East Lake ticks that box too.
Last four events: 7-52-31-17
Wentworth form: 4
Last 50 starts - Win: 2%, Top 5: 12%, Top 10: 26%
Justin Rose - Ryder Cup incentive for double runner-up
"The BMW PGA Championship is what I've always called a bucket list tournament," is a common line from Rose in his press conferences here down the years. But while he's ticked off the US Open and even the Olympics, this one has rather taunted him. He's been runner-up twice, posted three other top 10s (latest in 2019) and a further couple of top 12s. As well as trying to get the win for bucket list reasons, he also knows that a victory/big performance could squeeze him into Europe's Ryder Cup team so that's a big incentive too. Rose's confidence is also returning after a T10 at the Wyndham Championship last time.
Last four events: 10-54-46-36
Wentworth form: 37-8-12-38-25-50-2-MC-10-MC-9-2-11-32-9-MC-32
Last 50 starts - Win: 0%, Top 5: 10%, Top 10: 24%
Ian Poulter - Course could be growing on Poults
"There is no reason why I should have ever had a dislike to this golf course to be honest," said Poulter last year. "It's a place where I've through the years come to watch the greats play golf, and I've had the opportunity to play it now 17 times in tournament conditions. I haven't played as well as I should have played, and because of that, I guess I have had a dislike for the venue. That's not really the venue's fault. It's probably been my fault." A first top five last year showed the tide could be turning and he'll want another big display this year to try and win (or justify) a Ryder Cup wildcard pick. Some rumours suggest skipper Padraig Harrington has already pencilled him in as a wildcard.
Last four events: 31-10-26-4
Wentworth form: 5-60-20-40-26-MC-10-18-MC-MC-MC-33-52-MC-MC-MC-MC
Last 50 starts - Win: 0%, Top 5: 8%, Top 10: 16%
Adam Scott - Aussie returning after long absence
Scott used to be a regular visitor to Wentworth. He played this event and the HSBC World Match Play Championship a combined eight times between 2000 and 2006 but the Aussie hasn't been backed since so this is his first BMW start in 15 years. The course has changed but he seemed to enjoy the test, finishing T11 and T20 in two of his final three appearances in this event. He should be returning with the confidence of a recent win under his belt after losing a playoff at the Wyndham where he had a golden chance to win in regulation time. He missed the cut at The Northern Trust the week after to curtail his progress in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Last four events: MC-2-36-46
Wentworth form: 9-MC-11-20-MC-9-32-9
Last 50 starts - Win: 6%, Top 5: 16%, Top 10: 28%
I like Justin Rose in the outright market this week but, if that seems a stretch too far for some punters, the compromise of backing him for a Top 10 seems more than reasonable.
Top 10s in two of this year's four majors shows he still has the class and ability to raise his game in the big events and another T10 at the Wyndham on his latest start adds another layer of reassurance.
With the Ryder Cup on the horizon and Rose trying to win a place, he'll definitely have his game face on this week so I'm definitely going to play him at 4.57/2 to make the Top 10.
Matt Fitzpatrick is close to selection but I'll also back Billy Horschel, but this time for a Top 5 at an attractive 7.87/1.
It clicked for Horschel on his one and only previous start here when he finished fourth and he's in good enough form (T7 Tour Championship) to repeat that feat.
Billy Ho loves England as shown by his unlikely support for West Ham: he's now good mates with Hammers skipper Mark Noble and even has a West Ham-themed golf bag.
It all adds to the idea that he'll be in great spirits this week so let's push the boat out and see if he can grab another Wentworth top five.