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BMW PGA Championship preview: Ryder Cup stars all on display

All 12 members of the European Ryder Cup team are teeing it up at the DP World Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this week.

WhatBMW PGA Championship
WhereWest Course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey
WhenFrom 06:45, Thursday 14th September 2023
How to watchbet365 Live Golf Tracker, Sky Sports Golf & Main Event
OddsViktor Hovland 13/2, Rory McIlroy 15/2, Jon Rahm 17/2, Tommy Fleetwood 12/1, Matt Fitzpatrick 16/1

The Ryder Cup starts at the end of this month - always one of the most eagerly awaited sporting events - and Team Europe is using this week's BMW PGA Championship as their final preparation for facing the United States.

European captain Luke Donald named his six wildcard picks at the start of this month, completing his side of 12 to face the USA at Marco Simone Golf Club in Italy.

All of Donald's line-up feature in the BMW PGA at Wentworth, seeking the ultimate pre-Cup boost of victory in the Surrey showpiece.

Rory McIlroy will carry much of the spotlight as usual.

The four-time Major champion blew a golden chance in the Irish Open at the K Club last week, carding a final-round 74 to plummet down the leaderboard, so it will be interesting to see how he responds to that setback.

McIlroy won the BMW PGA in 2014 and the 16-time DP World Tour winner is available at 15/2 for a second Wentworth success this week. He was suffering with a back injury at the Tour Championship last month, but insists he will be 100 per cent fit for the Ryder Cup.

Jon Rahm has no injury concerns and can be backed at 17/2 to win a first BMW PGA title on Sunday. The Spaniard has played in this tournament twice before, finishing second both times, closing with a spectacular 62 last year.

Rahm, who tied for second in the Open Championship in July, went on to have a quiet FedEx Cup playoffs. His form at the start of the year was incredible, but the world number three has cooled off more recently.

Shane Lowry is the defending champion this week. Lowry won a thrilling duel for the title with McIlroy 12 months ago, edging his friend by a shot and big Shane has always had a superb record at Wentworth - he is 18/1 to retain his trophy.

Swedish sensation Ludvig Aberg will be making his Wentworth debut this week.

Aberg made his DP World Tour breakthrough in the European Masters the week before last, showcasing his immense talent, and the former world number one amateur is a 22/1 chance for BMW PGA glory.

Wentworth course details

The West Course at Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, is a 7,267-yard, par-72, with four par-fives.

Robert Karlsson, Thomas Bjorn and Alex Noren are the joint course-record holders - all having carded a 62.

The West Course has been the host venue for the PGA Championship since 1984. In 2019, the event moved from its usual May slot to September.

Tall trees line the fairways, many of which are doglegs, so it is a demanding driving course. The lay-out closes with two par-fives - the 610-yard 17th and the 523-yard 18th. A generally pleasant, calm week of weather is forecast.

Three to follow

Viktor Hovland

The 13/2 about FedEx Cup winner Viktor Hovland has been proving popular, which is hardly surprising given the way he performed in the Tour Championship last time out.

Hovland won the final two FedEx Cup playoff events in grand style and will be relishing the Wentworth assignment.

Justin Rose

The oldest member of the European Ryder Cup team will be Justin Rose, who earned an understandable wildcard pick from Luke Donald, and he could head to the Marco Simone off an overdue Wentworth triumph.

The two-time BMW PGA runner-up, a 30/1 chance this week, has been playing well this year and knows the West Course like the back of his hand.

Eddie Pepperell

A popular outsider this week has been Eddie Pepperell, who can be backed at 125/1 for BMW PGA glory.

The Oxfordshire man has twice finished sixth in this event and has shown some decent form in the build-up, including eighth place at the European Masters.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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