Pablo worth a small punt

  • By: Ben Coley
  • Last Updated: May 25 2014, 10:46 BST

Ben Coley previews the final round of the BMW PGA Championship and picks out a two-ball wager.

Pablo Larrazabal: Value to upstage Rory McIlroy
Pablo Larrazabal: Value to upstage Rory McIlroy

Thomas Bjorn holds a commanding five-shot advantage heading into the final round of the BMW PGA Championship as he seeks arguably the biggest win in his lengthy career.

The 43-year-old produced a flawless back-nine yesterday to establish a break on the field, and from a neutral's perspective it was important to see Luke Donald close out with a pair of birdies to keep things interesting.

Bjorn's record with the lead is very solid. On 15 occasions he's been in front on the European Tour with one round remaining and he's converted seven times. That being said, his biggest lead was four shots and this one he struggled with, slumping to a final-round 86 in the 2005 European Open to finish outside the top 30.

In terms of today, this is an opportunity he should take but much will depend on the opening nine. Bjorn has been so strong on the back that if his advantage remains five or drops to only four by the 10th tee, you'd expect him to win well as his wedge supremacy comes into play on the closing holes.

Donald is probably the best-equipped man in the field to chase down the Dane, but the feeling is he'll need some help and can ill afford to spurn opportunities as he did yesterday, when again impressing from tee to green.

Ultimately the event doesn't make any great appeal in terms of an outright betting opportunity. We're on Donald at 14/1 and have a better chance now than we did on Thursday morning, but in truth I expect he'll come up just short.

I've struggled to find an outstanding two-ball bet but 2/1 about Pablo Larrazabal beating Rory McIlroy may just be a shade on the generous side.

McIlroy has done superbly well this week and is just a half-decent Sunday away from his best effort here since the redesign, and of course it remains possible that he could even win the title.

But in Larrazabal he plays alongside a tenacious character who is perfectly capable of producing fireworks of his own, and it has to be in the Spaniard's favour that the last time he played with Rory, he not only outscored him but in doing so won the Abu Dhabi Championship.

That performance, in which he also held off Phil Mickelson, offers great encouragement and we know that Larrazabal will be fighting until the end.

Given those factors, he's probably the ideal man to take Rory on with and 2/1 looks worth taking.