The Irish Open | Thursday 27 June - Sunday 30 June | Carton House Golf Club
This week’s European Tour tournament is the Irish Open and it is certainly one to look forward to. As usual, an illustrious field have gathered to take part, which will be hosted for the third time at Carlton House Golf Club. The event has previously been held here in 2005 and 2006. The course, which measures 7,301 yards in length and is a par 72, will hold fond memories for Thomas Bjorn, who won here in 2006. Irishman Shane Lowry will feel right at home on a course at which he is a member. Will this be enough to set them apart from the rest of the pack though? Let’s have a look.
To Win Outright
Rory McIlroy 7/1
Graeme McDowell 11/1
Thomas Bjorn 14/1
Padraig Harrington 16/1
Shane Lowry 20/1
Padraig Harrington (18/1 a win, 36/10 a place)
Padraig Harrington was looking good last week until he threw it all away with a final round 80. Despite this, his first two rounds of 66 showed a player in a bit of form at the moment who should relish the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd. His confidence will be bolstered by the fact that he’s done well here in the past, having managed a top 5 and a top 10 in both instalments of the Irish Open hosted at Carlton House.
Darren Fichardt (125/1 a win, 25/1 a place)
Darren Fichardt came into his own at the beginning of the season, having won the African Open and managing a runner-up finish in the Tshwane Open, a run of form which couldn’t be ignored. He has been fairly quiet since but last week he showed he can still mix it up with the big boys, managing a top 10 at the BMW. The reason I like him this week is because Hollywood have recently started offering betting on 10 places, and at 10/1 to finish in the top ten, Fichardt looks like a lot of value. I won’t be betting on the win but a top 10 finish is well within his reach.
Finland’s Mikko Ilonen is on fire at the moment and with his putting looking better than anyone’s and a high birdie average he makes a lot of appeal here. He’ll come into this brimming with confidence having won the Nordea Masters a few weeks back and he enjoys playing in Ireland, having finished 10th in last year’s instalment of this tournament.
TOP BET: Thomas Bjorn (16/1 a win, 32/10 a place)
Everyone is tipping Bjorn this week and why not? He is in form at the moment and is tough to ignore, having ended as runner-up in Munich last week and having managed two top 10 finishes from his last four starts. He’ll also be relishing the opportunity to play on a course that holds fond memories for him after he edged out Paul Casey in 2006 to win on the back of a scintillating final round 66. I don’t think you need to look too much further than the Dane this week.