Lowry can retain his place on the leaderboard
Irishman should enjoy the assignment
Sky Sports 1 & 4, 10am
Johan Carlsson was the early pacesetter in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the 250-1 rag firing a six-under-par 66 in the Surrey showpiece.
Carlsson, a European Tour maiden, was cut to 50-1 for PGA glory while proven champions including Francesco Molinari, Thomas Pieters, Alexander Noren, Branden Grace and Henrik Stenson made excellent starts to jostle for favouritism.
Molinari posted a five-under-par morning 67 while Ryder Cup star Pieters scooted round in 68 later in the day. Noren, who won four European Tour titles last year, also laid a strong foundation for the days ahead.
Grace was fortunate to get a free drop out of a plugged lie in the face of a bunker at the 13th hole, the South African taking advantage of the controversial refereeing decision to card an opening round of 68.
Ante-post 12-1 favourite Justin Rose failed to sparkle in a morning 72 – the same score registered by defending champion Chris Wood – while Stenson posted a late 68 to go to the head of the betting.
Second-round threeball punters should consider Shane Lowry, who opened with a solid 68 and should enjoy the afternoon conditions more than his playing partners.
The Wentworth staff are keen to get their course as firm and fast as possible for the afternoon rounds, and baking sunshine is helping the task. Touch around the greens will be a prized asset and Lowry is one of the best in the business in that department.
Lowry usually performs well at Wentworth and the Irishman looks set to further bolster his reputation on the Burma Road this week. Expect his scrambling skills to result in victory in his 1pm match against Thorbjorn Olesen and Ross Fisher.
Olesen, who slumped to a miserable 78 in round one, has an abysmal Wentworth record and Fisher is the main danger. A 'feel' player such as Lowry should be favourite, though, given the course set-up.
1pt 7-5 Betfair, Paddy Power