BMW PGA Championship First-Round Leader: Perez can take pole

Frenchman Victor Perez
Victor Perez can make a fast start

After 60/1 tip Joost Luiten finished T2 in round one last week, Dave Tindall stays in Europe with three each-way FRL picks for Wentworth...

"Perez was twice a first-round leader in the 2019 season and on both occasions he was playing the tournament for the first time."

Back Victor Perez each-way @ 75/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places

Weather forecast for Virginia Water: It's a rainy, cloudy day at Wentworth with the early starters likely to see more of the wet stuff. Temperatures are pretty steady at around 60 degrees while there are moderate south-west breezes which may just ease a tad later in the day.

FRL history at Wentworth

2019 - 65 Matt Wallace
2018 - 65 Lucas Bjerregaard
2017 - 66 Johan Carlsson
2016 - 65 YE Yang, Scott Hend, Joost Luiten
2015 - 66 Francesco Molinari
2014 - 62 Thomas Bjorn

Strategy: Going out in three-balls off two tees means the field is fairly bunched. The early starters head out at 7:35am and the last groups at 1:25pm. In addition, there's not a great deal of change in the weather although it looks as if the afternoon starters have a better chance of avoiding the rain and get a fraction less wind. I'll pick one from the morning and two from the later wave.

Perez can hit the ground running

Victor Perez's victory in last year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland seemed an unlikely occurrence until it emerged that the Frenchman was now based in Dundee due to his girlfriend being a dental student there.

Suddenly it made sense.

At the time, he'd spent 18 months living there so, presumably, had played plenty of golf in grotty conditions.

And having won in Scotland in late September, I'm hoping he can make a fast start south of the border in early October.

Perez is in good nick after finishing tied 14th in last week's Scottish Open and he made the top 15 in last year's British Masters.

This is his first start at Wentworth which is obviously a point worth noting but Byeong Hun An won on his debut while first-timers Sebastian Soderberg and Christiaan Bezuidenhout were both in the top five after 18 holes last year.

But here's the clincher. Perez was twice a first-round leader in the 2019 season and on both occasions he was playing the tournament for the first time.

A 64 gave him the lead in the Mauritius Open and, even more impressively, he started out with a 65 to lead the Andalucia Masters on his first look at Valderrama - another tree-lined track where form correlates well with success at Wentworth.

Back the 12.45pm starter at 75/1.

Count on Kinhult

Continental Europeans seem to feature heavily in the R1 leader lists at Wentworth (nope, I have no theory).

And I'll take another in Marcus Kinhult, another 75/1 shot with an afternoon start at 1.05pm.

The Swede seems to like playing in England.

He won the 2019 British Masters at Hillside, was tied 12th on his debut here in 2018 and took tied 13th at the UK Championship on his last visit at the end of August.

Last week he really found his game again after three missed cuts with tied sixth in the Scottish Open, ranking fifth for Strokes Gained: Putting.

He started his bid with a 66 and has now finished inside the top eight after 18 holes in three of his last six starts.

There is some decent evidence that he can be quick out of the blocks once more.

Colsaerts can shine early

Well, let's make it a trio of Continental Europeans then!

Nicolas Colsaerts is one of the early starters at 7.45am and I'm hoping he can have one of his 'on' days.

The Belgian has a pretty decent record here in recent years with a pair of T22s in 2015 and 2016 followed by a third place in 2017.

He closed that week with a 65 and fired a second-round 66 last year so he knows he can go low around this course.

Back in August on another start in England he opened with a 65 at the English Championship before finishing tied ninth and in the Scottish Open last Thursday he was in the top 15 after lap one.

Colsaerts hit it great last week but just had a cold week with the putter. Hopefully on much more familiar greens, he can get both parts working.

Take the former Ryder Cup man at 95/1.

Dave's First Round Leader P/L

Staked: £750
Returned: £445.35
P/L: -£304.65

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