Irish Open Betting Tips, Free Bets and Preview – Thursday 28th May 2015
Last week’s PGA Championship was supposed to be the standout event of the European Tour season, however, it left many fans feeling a touch disappointed. The Wentworth greens were a major concern for the field and the failure of Rory McIlroy to make the cut certainly took away a bit of the shine. Wentworth’s loss though could turn out to be the Irish Open’s gain. Although the event is sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, it is being hosted by McIlroy’s Rory Foundation and the world number one has roped in an impressive field that will head to Royal County Down.
In the build-up to the tournament, McIlroy stated that Royal County Down is one of the top five golf courses in the world. He’s not the only one to share that view. The links course has not hosted a professional tournament since before World War II but it is genuinely world class. As with many links courses the wind is a major factor but unlike the majority, the holes are laid out in a manner that the wind changes direction on almost every hole. The fairways are sloped and quick which could provide some difficult shots into typically small links greens.
Players who enjoy links golf are the ones to back here. Obviously much of the attention will be on McIlroy. He’s making all the right noises and had a weekend off which looked much needed given his troubles at Wentworth. The 26-year-old plays the course regularly and grew up dealing with windy conditions. He’ll be desperate to improve on an average record at the Irish Open and is favourite with every book. Bet365’s 10/3 – as good a price as you will find – doesn’t offer great value given his preference for parkland courses but that didn’t exactly work out at Went worth and, of course, you write McIlroy off at your peril.
Just below McIlroy in the betting is the Players champion, Rickie Fowler. The 26-year-old American played at Royal County Down in the 2007 Walker Cup and was practicing at the course while the PGA Championship was taking place at Wentworth. Although Europeans are regarded as the best links golfers, Fowler excels when the wind blows. The weather forecast will excite Fowler and he has a great chance of renewing his rivalry with McIlroy at 12/1 with Coral.
The chances of Shane Lowry (22/1 with Betfair) and Francesco Molinari (25/1 with Coral) are appealing this week but the final pick goes to a 66/1 shot with Bet365, Thongchai Jaidee. The Thai golfer is another player who enjoys the challenge of shaping shots and controlling his ball flight in windy conditions and showed in finishing second at Wentworth last week that his game is in great condition. Jaidee plays a lot of golf in Asia but when in Europe he often plays at links courses. What he lacks in distance he makes up in accuracy and his approach play, two elements of the game which are crucial to a good performance on links courses.