Each-Way Betting

BMW PGA Championship Each-Way Tips: No more doubting 50/1 Thomas Detry

Thomas Detry golfer
Thomas Detry went close at Wentworth in 2021.

The DP World Tour returns to its Wentworth HQ this week for the BMW PGA Championship. Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland head the betting but Matt Cooper looks elsewhere for his three selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying eight places...

  • Thomas Detry can build on last year's fifth

  • Thriston Lawrence and Shubhankar Sharma well-suited

  • Eight places on offer this week


Golf has a reputation, often well-deserved, for being so conservative that, if it were a scent, I suspect there would be top notes of pipe tobacco and base notes of musty second-hand bookshop.

Curiously enough, though, when change does occur, it does so with remarkable rapidity.

Consider the BMW PGA Championship and its host, the Wentworth Club.

It's not that long ago that its then-owner, the restaurateur Richard Caring, was insisting on aiding and assisting Ernie Els in a course renovation that went about as well as a menu upgrade might have done if Ernie had been head chef in one of Caring's kitchens on a Saturday night minus any training or preparation.

The scars of that period are still visible, most obviously on the famous par-five 17th.

The reverse camber survives on the dog leg, the threat of kicking into the trees on the right is ever-present, and the slightly blind approach shot endures.

But the green itself provides pause for thought, a little like the appearance of an ageing Hollywood superstar.

It's familiar but also unsettling - bits that should be there have gone and in their place are stretched lumps and carved bumps that don't quite tally with the memory bank.

Poor Ernie copped a lot of flak when that renovation was completed, so much so that another rejig was required (this time by European Golf Design, based around the corner in Sunningdale) and it has calmed the situation.

That has to be celebrated because chitter chatter about the nature of the course has (this intro aside) ceased to be a pre-tournament issue these days - the buzz has changed and really quite quickly.

It's at least one reason why this year's entry list is the best in years.

There's no World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler but No. 2, 3 and 4 are here in Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland.

So are Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Tom Kim and Sepp Straka, all of them from the world's top 25.

There are also course specialists Shane Lowry and Billy Horschel, the veteran wiles of Adam Scott and Justin Rose, and the youthful promise of Ludvig Aberg and Min Woo Lee.

It looks like a tough nut for the each-way column, a week after the near-miss of Ryan Fox.

But the West Course looks set for a cracking week with all 12 of Europe's Ryder Cup team in attendance. The ideal starting point for their pilgrimage to Rome.


Main Bet: Thomas Detry 1pt each-way @ 50/151.00

Generally speaking, you want a play in this event who already boasts experience of contending at the weekend on the West Course.

Of the last 18 winners only one - Byeong Hun An in 2015 - was a course debutant and, of the other 17, no less than 16 had recorded a top seven finish in the tournament.

The exception? Paul Casey in 2009 - and he had won the World Match Play Championship on the course and had four tournament top 12 finishes.

As a starting point it feels like a decent one and Belgium's Thomas Detry fits the bill off the back of his fifth last year, when he was just one shot back of the pre-final round lead.

Asked about the host venue that week he said: "I love the place, love the course."

His form is not immediately eye-catching but it's also far from bad.

He opened with a 64 when T42nd in the Scottish Open and then added T13th in the Open - his major championship best effort.

He returned to the States, finished T21st in the Wyndham Championship and ended the season there with T61st in the St Jude Championship (which included a second round 64).

He added T23rd in last week's Irish Open.

Can he finally win? He's got nine top three finishes on the DP World Tour without toppling over the line so there will be doubters about Thomas.

This week, however, I'm not one of them.

Back Thomas Detry each-way @ 50/151.00

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Next Best: Thriston Lawrence 1pt each-way @ 100/1101.00

Thriston lawrence at the South African Open.jpg

This column has enjoyed backing the burly South African in the last couple of years, notably being on him when he won last year's European Masters at 40/141.00 and June's BMW International Open at 80/181.00.

Both times his fondness for altitude was a key factor - and repeating the strategy didn't work in the Czech Masters and back in Crans this summer but he was third last week at The K Club which was a reminder that he's not a one trick pony.

In fact, if not excelling in thin air then I have him down as a fan of golf within the trees which is what he experienced with the BMW win at Eichenried and in his first DP World Tour victory at Randpark.

He missed the cut on his Wentworth debut last year but I think he's capable of much more and off last week's top three, at this price, I'm keen to follow him again.

Back Thriston Lawrence each-way @ 100/1101.00

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Final Bet: Shubhankar Sharma 1pt each-way @ 175/1176.00

The column was also on India's Shubhankar Sharma a bit early because, having followed him in Crans, he missed the cut.

Next time out? He was seventh last week, when leading after the first and second rounds.

Add that to his eighth in the Open at Royal Liverpool and that's decent form.

He doesn't quite fit the bill in having a top seven finish at Wentworth but he was ninth in 2021 and he was also third heading into the final round on debut in 2019.

He's another who enjoys playing down funnels of trees, as evidenced by wins in Randpark and at Saujana, plus a 54-hole lead at the very narrow Chapultepec in Mexico.

Back Shubhankar Sharma each-way @ 175/1176.00

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