For the first time in weeks, there are two top-class events on the golfing calendar with the BMW PGA Championships and the Fort Worth Invitational.
The PGA Championships, staged at European headquarters at Wentworth, is one of the flagship events on the tour – but this is the last time it will take place at this time of year, as a re-jig of the golfing calendar means it will be in September from next year.
This tournament is one of the European Tour events that still attracts the big names and this year is no different with Rory McIlroy leading the charge this year.
The PGA Tour remains in Texas this week for the Fort Worth Invitational played at the famed Colonial Country Club – known as “Hogan’s Alley” – after five-time winner Ben Hogan, and they again boast a hugely impressive field with home favourite Jordan Spieth on hand to guarantee a sizeable crowd.
See below as we run through the BMW PGA and the Fort Worth tournaments for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing professional Cliff Jackson and Betfair.
BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Staged at Wentworth, Surrey
- First staged in 1955
- Current champion is Alexander Noren
FIELD: The European Tour can be proud of this line-up with McIlroy the main man and defending champion Alexander Noren is very much expected to feature. Home favourite Tommy Fleetwood will expect to challenge, whilst Paul Casey makes a rare but welcome return to European action.
QUOTES: McIlroy is looking forward to this week and believes it can kick-start his season. “I’ve got a busy summer coming up… three major championships and Ryder Cup, and everything else. So maybe this could be the spark that gets that all going again.”
Good morning from Wentworth!
— BMW PGA Championship (@BMWPGA) May 23, 2018
- Rory McIlroy – 9/1
- Alex Noren – 14/1
- Branden Grace – 14/1
- Paul Casey – 14/1
- Tommy Fleetwood – 14/1
- Francesco Molinari – 20/1
- Matthew Fitzpatrick – 22/1
- Paul Dunne – 25/1
- Shane Lowry – 28/1
- Tyrrell Hatton – 28/1
- Ian Poulter – 30/1
FORT WORTH INVITATIONAL
- Staged at Colonial Country Club, Texas
- First staged in 1946
- Current champion is Kevin Kisner
FIELD: Despite the lure of the big field in Wentworth, the event at Fort Worth has still drawn a hugely powerful line-up and not just the local big names like Jordan Spieth, but indeed European big guns such as Jon Rahm and Justin Rose.
QUOTES: Returning champion at the Colonial Country is Kevin Kisner and he is looking to become only the second man to defend the title, after legendary figure Ben Hogan – who did it 65 years ago. “[Hogan] obviously was pretty good around this place; I have a pretty decent track record around here, too,” said Kisner. “I think it just suits a lot of guys’ games that come to play here. I think a lot of the same guys are up there near the lead every year, and it’s all about who can get the job done coming down the stretch.”
One of our favorite golf swings.
Let's watch Ben Hogan on a loop. 🔂 pic.twitter.com/hkDby4s317
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 22, 2018
- Jordan Spieth – 7/1
- Jon Rahm – 12/1
- Justin Rose – 18/1
- Webb Simpson – 18/1
- Rickie Fowler – 20/1
- Jimmy Walker – 25/1
- Adam Scott – 28/1
- Brooks Koepka – 28/1
- Bryson DeChambeau – 28/1
- Jason Dufner – 28/1
- Patrick Cantlay – 28/1
The pro’s point of view…
Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.
One of the best week’s we have seen on both sides of the Atlantic. So to Wentworth, I think Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter are going to have good weeks on home soil, and Paul Casey should be in the mix.
And in Texas, I think Jason Dufner is one to keep an eye on, but also Justin Rose – he is clearly taking this seriously given he has been forced to miss Wentworth.
The Bookie says…
We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action
Two strong events this week with a handful of genuine world stars in the UK for the European Tour’s showpiece event and the PGA Tour putting up its usual deep field. The Betfair Sportsbook is paying seven places on both tournaments.
Rory McIlroy is the big name at the BMW PGA Championship, the 2014 Wentworth champion a 9/1 shot this week ahead of a 14/1 quartet made up of 2017 winner Alex Noren, 2009 victor Paul Casey, Branden Grace and Tommy Fleetwood.
Wentworth lover Francesco Molinari – who has finished top five two times in the last three years – can be backed at 22/1, followed by 25/1 Paul Dunne, and 28/1 pair Matthew Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry. Ian Poulter and Tyrell Hatton, both available at 30/1, round out the leading candidates in the betting.
The PGA Tour stays in Texas for a second week, and there’s a Texan at the top of the Fort Worth Invitational betting with Jordan Spieth the 15/2 jolly. Jon Rahm, 12/1, is clear second favourite while you can get 18/1 about a win for either Justin Rose or Rickie Fowler.
Players Championship winner Webb Simpson is 20/1 on his return to tour action while the Sportsbook goes 28/1 about victories for Brooks Koepka, Bryson Dechambeau or the very in-form Jimmy Walker.