Back any player to win the Players Championship and we'll pay you out as a winner if they lead at the end of the first round.

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Alex Noren

To win –

To lead after round one –

Noren was joint-first after round one at the Players Championship last time out, and the Swede should make a similarly fast start this week.

The reigning champion opened with a 68 last year to finish tied for fifth on Thursday, before equalling the course record with a 62 on Sunday to top the leaderboard.

That was the kind of round that Noren is capable of putting together at Wentworth, a course that rewards his excellent iron play and putting, and it would be no surprise if he’s among the leaders early on once again.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

To win –

To lead after round one –

Aphibarnrat has made excellent starts in each of his last two Wentworth appearances, finishing joint-second after round one last year and joint-eighth in 2016.

The 28-year-old ranks eighth on the PGA Tour in first-round scoring average this year, and led on Thursday night on the way to victory at March’s Richard Mille Brunei Championships on the Asian Development Tour.

Aphibarnrat was also inside the top two after day one in each of his two strokeplay European Tour wins, and is worth backing here after making the cut in three successive years at this event.

Chris Paisley

To win –

To lead after round one –

Paisley is my outsider pick this week, and I also fancy him to set the pace on day one.

The 32-year-old has three top-five finishes on the European Tour this year, including a win at the South African Open in January, and was inside the top five after the first round in two of those events.

Paisley also opened with a 65 at the hugely competitive WGC – Mexico Championship in March to place joint-second on Thursday night, proving that he’s worth a punt even in a strong field like this one.

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