BMW PGA Championship: Who to back for victory at Wentworth

Rory McIlroy goes in search of a second BMW PGA Championship success this week and will not need reminding of how important victory here in 2014 was in his career.

The Northern Irishman produced a brilliant back-nine to deny Shane Lowry and co four years ago and went on to enjoy a golden summer, winning The Open, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the US PGA in arguably the most destructive spell of his career.

No doubt, that will be on his mind as he looks to fully recover from his latest Masters heartache and he is the man to beat once more, but Branden Grace looks a more sporting each-way bet.

With eight European Tour wins to his name, the South African knows all about beating fields like this and the latest of them was arguably his most significant yet, as he landed the Nedbank Golf Challenge – referred to by some as ‘Africa’s major’.

Up until last week, 2018 had been quieter but still promising though it was his performance when third in the Byron Nelson which really sets him up for this. Grace has never missed a cut at Wentworth, and never has he prepared better for it.

While Grace is the standout candidate, there’s little doubt that this event has often been dominated by players from the UK and Ireland so it is three such options who complete the staking plan.

First, Paul Dunne has won his last two starts in England – the British Masters and GolfSixes – and has four solo top-10s in his last five starts to go with the latter success.

Now on the fringes of the Ryder Cup side, he will see this as a big opportunity to make an impression and Wentworth is a course which suits his game.

Matthew Fitzpatrick is another with eyes on a ticket to Paris and he has shown some good signs on the PGA Tour of late.

The youngster also boasts some eye-catching Wentworth form having closed with a round of 66 last year and has a game which is made for this challenge, a fact confirmed by his breakthrough Woburn success.

Finally, Ross Fisher appears overpriced as a former course member who fell in love with the latest changes a year ago on his way to a top-10 finish.

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Fisher has not been at his best of late but a first cut made at Sawgrass comes at just the right time and he can go well in another Rolex Series event.