Golf betting tips and free bets: Three picks for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth including in-form 200/1 shot
RORY MCILROY will be determined to send the LIV crowd running for cover as the eagerly-awaited BMW Championship gets under way at Wentworth this week.
McIlroy said he will find it hard to “stomach” the sight of 18 of the LIV mercenaries teeing it up in the DPO World Tour’s flagship event, handing him the perfect incentive to follow up his dramatic Tour Championship triumph.
A fired-up McIlroy is not a man you want to take on too often.
But the distraction of constantly watching leaderboards to see how the rebels are doing may not help the world No 3’s cause, although he has certainly found the key to playing well at Wentworth.
His 2014 victory came out of the blue after three missed cuts in his first visits, but he almost repeated that victory when he finished runner-up in 2018 – and a share of ninth a year later, after a shocking first round 76, was no disgrace.
Covid restrictions and a desire to concentrate on the American circuit meant McIlroy has been absent from Wentworth since 2019, although he was never going to miss out this time with the game in such turmoil.
But 6-1 or thereabouts looks a bit skinny, especially as this year’s field is probably the strongest in the event’s history, and it may pay to look elsewhere.
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Hot shot: Shane Lowry, 16-1.
This is not the first time Lowry has been tipped to claim an overdue first win since his 2019 Open triumph, but I’m not prepared to give up on him yet.
Lowry’s Wentworth record makes impressive reading – a win in 2018, runner-up to McIlroy four years earlier, and four other top six finishes.
His disappointing 17th place a year ago was his worst effort in his last five starts, and it was still respectable enough. Lowry would have been a lot closer if he hadn’t taken too many risks in a final round 71.
Lowry has recorded a hat-trick of top three finishes this year, and he should be high on the leaderboard again at a course he loves.
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Mid price: Thomas Pieters, 40-1
The big-hitting Belgian has always looked a good fit for Wentworth. Now that he seems to have put a lid on that explosive temper he could prove the point this week.
Pieters produced his best performance so far at this course with a share of ninth, and two rounds of 66 suggested he was capable of improving significantly on that effort.
He has looked like a man who is really enjoying his golf, and almost followed up his impressive Abu Dhabi victory with another big win, finishing second in the BMW International.
He also played well at the Open and the US equivalent, and should improve on his eighth place on his last start at the Czech Masters.
Long shot: Francesco Laporta, 200-1.
Laporta’s share of fourth at the Made in Himmerland event in Denmark last week was a case of perfect timing.
That was easily his best performance this year, and suggested he may be ready to recapture the sparkling form he showed towards the end of last season.
Laporta posted a second place and four other top seven finishes in his final 12 starts of 2021, a run that included a terrific display in this event. He was the outright leader after 54 holes, and hadly fell apart.
A two under par 70 might have got the job done most weeks, but Billy Horschel led a riot of low scoring to push the Italian into sixth place. A repeat would reward each way backers nicely.
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