“My fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” – JFK
I swear, there was going to be some cutesy, catchy way of turning this JFK brilliance into a plea for United States golf bettors and fantasy players to focus a bit on the European Tour this week — except, as it turns out, it really wasn’t all that cutesy and definitely wasn’t too catchy. And so what you’re left with is some great words from a great leader before you read some stuff about guys with names like Lucas Bjerregaard — which really isn’t such a terrible thing, is it?
Chances are, there are two reasons why you might have clicked this link:
- You’re a hardcore golf gambler and need some inside info on whether Jens Dantorp provides more value at this tournament than Marcus Kinhult. (My answer is a resounding “duh, of course he does!”)
- You dabble in the PGA Tour, but you’re intrigued by playing the European Tour, and this week’s BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event of that circuit, seemed like a perfect opportunity to dip your toe into the — Euro golf reference alert! — Virginia Water.
Well, good news, sort of: You’re kind of right.
On the positive side, most of the familiar European names you’ve come to know from majors and WGCs over the years will be competing at Wentworth. Sure, there are still plenty of fuzzy little foreigners — Caddyshack reference alert! — but even a casual fan will be able to reel off plenty of the players competing this week.
On the negative side, that familiarity will breed a bit of contempt. Because of the strong field, this is probably the hardest Euro Tour event of the year to handicap. Case in point: My friend Dave Tindall of Golf365 asked 15 people within the game (including myself) for their picks to win and received 15 different selections.
It really is tough to limit the possibilities, but I’m going to try my best.
Here are three picks from three separate tiers I like this week — and one fade, as well. (All odds via sportsbook.ag, as of Wednesday.)
1. Tommy Fleetwood (+1100)
You want to convince me that Rory McIlroy is the man to beat this week? I can buy that. But I’ll bank on Fleetwood’s consistency over McIlroy’s lack of it. Here’s all you need to know about Fleetwood: After playing the first round of The Players Championship with him a few weeks ago, world-class ball-striker in his own right Justin Rose said of Fleetwood, “I love the way he hits his iron shots, love his sort of curtailed finish, so that’s something I always try to imagine myself doing a little bit.”