European Tour, Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Preview
This week see’s Europe’s Best take on Mount Juliet Golf course for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. All the local hero’s come back home to compete for the prestigious prize; Rory Mcilroy, Shane lowry & Padraig Harrington all looking to win their National Open. With extra Race to Dubai points on offer this week & a purse worth double last weeks at €3 Million it’s no surprise to see a strong field this week. Not only this but with The Open just 2 weeks away players are looking to hit form at just the right time for the final Major of the year. Limited fans will be allowed in each day this week so Shane Lowry will finally get to play in front of his Irish Fans as Open Champion before defending at Royal St Georges.
Mount Juliet Golf Course gets back on the European tour after a long time away. The Irish Open takes place at different course each year. The WGC American Express Championship was the last event to be held at this venue back in 2002 & 2004 where Tiger Woods & the Big Easy Ernie Els were victorious. The course is celebrating its 30th Year Anniversary this year which by hosting the Irish Open will be a great way to celebrate it. The Jack Nicklaus Designed Course is a Par 72 made up for 4 Par 3s,10 pars 4s & 4 par 5s. 7250 yards will make up the scorecard this week. Winning scores in 2002 & 2004 were -24, -18 & the Last 5 Irish Open winners average score is -15, with this is mind I would expect this week’s winning score to be around 18 under par this week. Current weather forecast is predicted to be calm & sunny conditions so we look set to miss the usual High Winds or persistent Rain but that could all change by Thursday.
2020 – John Catlin Score -10
2019 – Jon Rahm Score -16
2018 – Russell Knox Score -14
2017 – Jon Rahm Score -24
2016 – Rory McIlroy Score -12
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 20-1 Paddy Power 8 Places
Christiaan makes his 1st appearance in Europe for nearly a year this week. He has mainly been stateside this season with his European tour events all being in the Middle East. He will have learned a lot about himself this season with all his PGA tour experience & will bring all that with him to take on the Irish Open. For the last 2 years the South African has ranked as one of the best putters on tour, this combined with his greens in regulation stats of 69% should put him in a great position to shoot some low rounds this week. Current form reads 31-37-30-33-40. Three of these finishes were in Major’s so he has proved that can compete with the strongest of fields.
Thomas Detry 33-1 Boyle Sports 10 places
Thomas has been fine tuning his game at his base course St. Enodoc down in Cornwall ready for the Irish Open test. He comes into this event still searching for his 1st European Tour victory & there is no reason why it can’t be this week. After a Missed cut at the US Open last time out he can take the positives from the 2nd place finish at the Porsche Open the previous week. All his stats rank around the average for the tour in every field so a week off to fine tune his game should have done him the world of good to push on & challenge for the win this week. Current form reads MC-2-59-MC-43
Andrew Johnston 66-1 Paddy Power 8 Places
Beef has had a bit of a resurgence of form in recent weeks which hopefully can lead to his 2016 form. He managed 2 bogey free rounds this week & only a total of 6 total bogeys all week. A 69.14 stroke average has Beef ranked 5th on tour for the year. He ranks better than the tour average in all the key stats; 68% greens in regulation,55% Driving accuracy which very surprising is 6% better than the tour average & averaging 28.28 putts per round. All will be key this week to get himself back in the winner’s circle. Current form reads 14-MC-17-4-42
Takumi Kanaya 66-1 Boyle Sports 10 Places
The Japanese wonderkid comes to the Irish Open fresh from a T17 finish at the BMW International Open where he only had 5 bogeys all week which were the only dropped shots in 72 holes. He makes just his 3rd appearance on European soil this week & looks to bring his form from Asia with him. The world No 83 is one of the highest ranked players in the field this week so at 80-1 & with his bogey avoidance last week he was a very easy click this week. On the Japanese tour he ranks higher than average on nearly every stat, Greens in Regulation at 68.06 & driving accuracy of 75%. These will go a long way to high scoring this week as wedges from the fairways are far more accurate than from the rough. Current form Reads 17-MC-MC-7-15
John Catlin 80-1 Paddy Power 8 places
The American is fast becoming one of my favourite golfers. He has won twice in recent months when I’ve been on him & this week at 80-1, I simply can’t not take him. He won in Austria at 80-1 just 6 starts ago. His form has dipped a little since then with 3 missed cuts a 5th & 52nd place finish. However, at last year’s Irish Open he proved is a fan of this test of golf by winning. The defending champ ranks of one of the best approach players on the tour with this Strokes gained approach to the green he is 18th & tee to green he is 14th. A 60.19% driving accuracy also ranks him 12th on tour which combined with his Greens in regulation figure of 67.59% can lead him to victory if the putter behaves itself. Current Form reads MC-MC-MC-5-52
Rory McIlroy – The 4-1 home fav is simply too short to take this week. I’ve no doubt he will be up & around the top come Sunday afternoon but there is just no value at 4-1. It’s like prime Tiger Woods odds where he turned up & won regardless of the field.
Good Luck with all Bets