It's a huge week for the European Tour as its flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, showcases the circuit's finest talent on the West Course at Wentworth and presents some valuable wagering opportunities for golf betting enthusiasts the world over. Here are three golfers to follow this weekend:
After clinching his first European Tour win in last October's British Masters Paul Dunne celebrated with T7th a week later in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, scene of his 54-hole lead in the 2015 Open Championship. It was heady stuff, but a hangover followed. His next seven results were all T41st or better but none better than T19th and it got worse with a winter run of MC-MC-T55th.
However an invite to play the PGA Tour's Corales Puntacana Championship turned his form around. He was T5th that week, T8th seven days later in the Houston Open and T2nd on his return to the European Tour in Spain. He missed the cut at the Trophee Hassan II, a course he lost a play-off on 12 months earlier, but he was distraught at the redesign of the greens there and never got over the disappointment.
He bounced back with T7th in the China Open and then won the GolfSixes with Gavin Moynihan. Holding a celebratory pint of Guinness after the latter result I asked him if there was any significance to the location of his two wins. "Well I sure like taking English money back home," he said with a grin and it might be worth taking the hint.
In addition to those two wins as a professional he was a three-time winner of Open Qualifying at Woburn when in the amateur ranks and his debut at Wentworth last year was a handy T30th which finished with a 69. He's listed at 4/1 to make the top ten at 888Sport and as a fast starter (three round one leads in his last 16 starts) might be worth following in that market at odds of 40/1 with Coral.
Back in 2015 Francesco Molinari shared the lead heading into the final round at the West Course. "I just love the place, I love the atmosphere and I especially love the golf course," he said, adding: "There's a bit of good Italian karma here with Costantino Rocca winning and Matteo Manassero as well a few years ago."
Alas Molinari didn't add his name to the trophy, but last year he was contending again, opening 67-70 to share the halfway lead before finishing second. It was his fifth top eight finish in his last six visits which is stunning consistency.
"I think it rewards accuracy more than others so it suits my game," he said of the course in 2015 and the stats back that up. When he's made the cut (ten times in 12 appearances) he has always ranked 12th or better for Fairways Hit.
He's yet to make a top ten in 2018, but don't let that faze you because he's been in America. Instead consider that in his last 18 regular European Tour starts (that's not including majors or World Golf Championships) he has ten top tens.
This is a level he's comfortable with, on a course he adores. At top golf betting sites he's 15/2 to finish the week as Top Continental European and, if backed each way, he'd have earned a return in five of the last six years.
Back at the end of 2014 the Korean player graduated from the Challenge Tour and I asked him which event he was most looking forward to on the main circuit. "Wentworth," he replied. "I used to watch it on TV and I played Sunningdale earlier this year, qualifying for the Open there. I love that area."
Six months later he proved it, shooting 71-64-67-65 to trounce the field by six strokes on his BMW PGA Championship debut. He finished a solid T33rd on defence and although he was T24th last year he did contend, lying T5th at halfway.
He's bubbling this season with three top tens in ten individual starts, but the T6th he posted at the Dubai Desert Classic is the real clue. Since he gained his European Tour card he has notched 14 top ten finishes in 39 starts (including that win).
But within that record are eight efforts on linksland and they don't read well: seven times he failed to make the top 50 and the exception was T21st. Knock seaside golf off his report card and you've got 14 top tens in 31 starts (45%). Back in Europe, on a track he clearly likes, he is 4/1 to make the top ten with Unibet.