Back to stroke play this week for the European Tour at the stunning Harry Colt West course on the Wentworth Estate, not many people know that Colt also designed the East Course, which is a course I really enjoy playing. Ernie Els made some changes to the West course between 2005 – 2010, which were not received with universal appraisal.
The clubhouse was originally known as the Wentworth house in the 19th century and was the home to the brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington, it was then sold to a Spanish exile by the name of Count Ramon Cabrera in 1850. After his death his wife purchased some of the surrounding land to form what become known as the Wentworth Estate.
In 1912 builder WG Tarrant acquired the developing rights for the Estate and based on his St Georges Hill model commissioned Harry Colt to design a course around the Wentworth house. Tarrant then developed the large houses that you see on the estate today.
And in an echo of today’s financial climate, development of Wentworth Estate ground to a halt due to the Depression of the late 1920s.
In 1931 the banks asked for repayment of a large debenture that had been taken out, Surprise Surprise Tarrant was forced to declare bankruptcy. The ownership of Wentworth Estates Ltd came under the control of Sir Lindsay Parkinson & Co Ltd.
My tips to win:
It’s hard to ignore someone who has won this event twice in the last three years and although Luke Donald 14/1 didn’t make it three in a row last year when he missed the cut, I do think that Luke will be challenging again this year.
Martin Kaymer 20/1 has been in great form over the last couple of weeks and we rightly tipped him to win at The Players after watching him play so well at the Wells Fargo. Martin also started well at last weekend’s Byron Nelson and I think he will be looking forward to this tournament and his new found confidence will see him challenging here again this week.
Another player who comes into this event in great form is Justin Rose 14/1 with two Top 5 finishes in his last two events, with one being his forth place finish at The Players where he admitted he wasn’t hitting the ball great but was scoring well. I am sure in the two weeks since that tournament he will have been ironing out those kinks ready for this week.
My each-way tips:
I must admit I thought I was going to have difficulty picking this week’s each-way tips but with the bookies offering Joost Luiten 33/1 at these odds it was a no brainer. I think the Dutchman has been in fine form with a Top 5 finish at the Open de España. Joost has played seven events on the European Tour this season and has only been outside the Top 25 twice, one was the Masters and the other a WGC event.
Ross Fisher 40/1 basically grew up on this track and will fancy his chances this week, especially coming in on the back of a Top 15 finish at last week’s Open de España. Ross already has a win to his name taking the Tshwane Open earlier in the season and although his form has been a bit hit and miss since then, I think the lad from Ascot will be in the thick of it come Sunday and will draw on all his local knowledge.
My Outside tip:
These are big odds for someone who comes into this week in confidant mood and Eddie Pepperell 150/1 should be after his first Top 25 finish of the season. Eddie had a sixth place finish here last year, but he is still waiting for his first European Tour victory after already winning on the Challenge Tour, and I think those positive memories from last year will help the lad from Oxford this week.
As always good luck