WENTWORTH plays host to the final Ryder Cup qualifying event this week, and it may pay to side with players who do not have the added pressure of a trip to Whistling Straits looming over them.
Hot favourite Viktor Hovland booked his European debut a long time ago, but he has played a ton of golf in America recently – as well as making the trip to Japan for the Olympics – and he may not have much left in the tank.
Some of the other Ryder Cup certs near the top of the betting, such as defending champion Tyrrell Hatton, have not been in great form lately, so they can be taken on too.
Hot shot: Alex Noren, 20-1.
The Swede was having a torrid time on the PGA Tour before finishing fourth in the Rocket Mortgage Classic a couple of months ago, and he was even more impressive when finishing fourth and ninth in the first two FedEx Cup events.
The fields for those events were much stronger than the one he faces this week, and memories of his sensational victory over this course four years ago show how much he enjoys teeing up at Wentworth.
He came from seven shots off the lead by shooting a course record 62 in the final round, and is one of those who will not be overly-concerned by the Ryder Cup race.
Mid price: Adam Scott, 33-1.
The former Masters champion is an infrequent visitor to Europe these days, but the popular Aussie learned his craft on this side of the Atlantic and could enjoy a happy ‘homecoming’.
Scott produced his best performance in ages when he was runner-up at the Wyndham Championship last month.
He missed the cut at the Northern Trust a week later despite an opening 67, and is worth another chance at this price.
The impression that he is a spent force is not one I go along with.
Scott is still in the top 40 of the world rankings, and was a winner in Australia in 2019, and on the PGA Tour last year.
Long shot: Adrian Meronk, 100-1
The tall Pole struck me as a future European Tour champion when he finished third in this year’s British Masters, and he almost got over the line last week.
He set the clubhouse target at the Italian Open with a superb final round 66, and looked set for at least a play-off until Nicolai Hojgaard conjured up a brilliant birdie at the closing hole.
Meronk got better and better as the week went on in Rome, with rounds of 70-69-67-66, and his share of second place alongside Tommy Fleetwood was a big step up on his recent efforts.
This is a lot tougher, but he is sure to be high on confidence.
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