BMW PGA Championship: Three to play in the First Round Leader market
Dave Tindall picks out three players to get onside early at this week's BMW PGA Championship...
"Pepperell knows how to make a fast start; in fact, he's topped the leaderboard after day one in two of his last 12 tournaments."
*EW Terms: 1/4 Odds | 5 Places
Weather forecast: Temperatures start off in the high 50s at 7am and gradually warm throughout the morning until peaking in the mid to late 60s between 1pm and 5pm. There's also a 40% chance of rain during the afternoon while winds start off at around 10mph and drop to half that from 3pm onwards.
History: Here are the tee-times for the R1 leaders/joint leaders at Wentworth over the last five years:
2017 Johan Carlsson (10:30)
2016 Scott Hend (08:55), YE Yang (09:15), Joost Luiten (13:15)
2015 Francesco Molinari (12:20)
2014 Thomas Bjorn (08:15)
2013 James Kingston (10:10)
Of those seven players, five teed off in the morning.
Overview: I'm leaning towards morning starters but if a bit of rain softens the course in the afternoon, that could help the p.m. bunch, who will also enjoy slightly warmer conditions. I'll therefore go two early and one late.
Early Pep in his step
In 2011, Luke Donald teed off at 08:00 and came home with a 64 to lead the way after 18 holes. I'm hoping fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell can do the same when he heads out at 07:50.
Pepperell knows how to make a fast start; in fact, he's topped the leaderboard after day one in two of his last 12 tournaments.
An opening 65 saw him share the R1 lead in Qatar earlier this year, a tournament he would go on to win and claim his first European Tour success.
And back in October, a 64 on day one of the Italian Open was again good enough for T1 after the opening lap.
Wind further back and he was leading the way after the first-round action twice in three starts back in 2014.
He's not raced out of the blocks for a couple of years here but Pepperell was T14 after day one in 2014 and finished T6 on debut in 2013.
A recent practice round saw him shoot an "effortless 7 or 8 under" according to a source who witnessed it in full.
"Joy to play Wentworth today. Course is in brilliant condition," Pepperell tweeted on Sunday so, all in all, he looks an enticing bet at 95/1 for first-round leader.
Jamieson can jump out of the blocks
Scott Jamieson shared the halfway lead at Wentworth last year after an opening bogey-free 67 had left him in second place after round one.
He was in the very first group out 12 months ago and said later: "Obviously we had the best of the conditions, not a breath of air, and the greens are so good this year. To be the first people on all 18 greens, they are just a great surface to putt on."
The Scot has another early alarm call this year and can hopefully produce something similar from his 07:40 tee-time.
Jamieson was also T8 after the first day in 2012 and carded a Friday 68 in 2015 so he certainly likes this place.
His recent results don't look very appealing but, notably, he's still managed to start well. He was T6 after Thursday's play in China after a 67 while, taking a wider view, he's fired in the 60s in six of his last eight first rounds.
Take him at 110/1.
Colsaerts can cruise through field
Nicolas Colsaerts had fun in last week's Belgian Knockout, opening with a 68 to sit inside the top 10 after day one.
At the back end of 2017, he showed his ability to hit the ground running when taking R1 leader honours twice in three starts via a 67 in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and a 64 in the Turkish Airlines Open.
Looking at his Wentworth record, he's been in the top eight after day one on three separate occasions and last year he showed his liking for the latest revamp when closing with a 65 to take third place.
"Hats off to the people at Wentworth. This was fantastic to play, fairways, greens; having them in this condition is really hard to believe," said Colsaerts 12 months ago.
Overall in this event, he's cracked the top 25 in four of the last five years.
Colsaerts pegs it up at 14:05 and is 75/1 for first-round leader.
Dave's 2017/18 R1 leader P/L (based on £5 ew per selection)
(After the AT&T Byron Nelson)