This week sees our flagship event on the European tour the BMW PGA at Wentworth. Wentworth with the iconic art deco clubhouse, the beautiful manicured fairways, the beautiful tree-lined fairways, this place really is as good as it gets.
The Course however has come in for much criticism in the last few years since the great Ernie Els who has a house on site has redesigned much of the course. Paul Casey who is never short of an opinion said it was a bit like destroying a listed building and it’s interesting that Paul Casey stays away this week. That is probably a bit over the top however I’m not sure there was any need to change this iconic fantastic course. The main bone of contention is the final 18th par-5 where Els has placed water to make it a risk reward hole. Sadly however the majority of players do not take the risk and lay up for a sand wedge third, this has taken a real element of excitement from the final hole.
Els himself has responded to the criticism by making some slight changes over the last two years which have eased many of the criticisms and I understand the course is in stunning shape for the big week of the whole European tour. Young Rory’s favourite at 12/1 however he has missed the cut and does not seem to like the place he looked all at sea and looked to me like he gave up last year. He has seemed stung by some of the criticism and promises an improved effort but for me he will struggle to win this year and as yet is not back to his brilliant best.
Distance off the tee here will always be a help with several par-5s it is far more important is to drive straight and hit greens in regulation of this place becomes very very difficult. Particularly since the changes made by Ernie Els we have seen players do well who are steady eddies and fairways and greens merchants unlike the old Seve Ballesteros style of playing wentworth gung ho. I see that situation continuing this week and at golf bet profits we are playing players who are ideally situated to this test.
There is extensive coverage of all four days on sky and with a fascinating American tournament as well this really is a week to get involved. I look forward to seeing you on the fairways.
Back next Tuesday.
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