Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Irish Open 2012

As an Irishman I delighted that this years Open is being held at Portrush GC in Northern Ireland as a tribute to outstanding achievement of its 3 Major winners in recent years, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke. Its very ironic that after these successes of the 3 Northern Irishman that the Irish Open is without a "major" sponsor following the withdrawal of 3 (Telecom Operator) who preferred to sponsor the Republic of Ireland soccer team instead. I.m sure the marketing team are well pleased! Despite the lack of sponsorship, the field assembled for the week is very strong and its now being touted as SOLD OUT !. It will be a real Irish Open this year too, inclement weather on a links course....none of this tree lined parkland, "whack it and birdie 'em" shootout we are dished up on Sky Sports nearly every week. Real golf ! So, with that analysis, who should be best suited to the links conditions and weather to prevail come Sunday? There are  a few that jump out, ut over the years the Irish Open has produced a number of surprise winners but down through the years the winners list includes some of the games greats.....Seve, Faldo, Langer, Monty,Woosie,Olazabal, Crenshaw. There has been mixed home success. Padraig Harrington broke a 25 year wait since John O'Leary won in 1982 at Portmarnock GC. Shane Lowry last won for Ireland at Baltray in 2009(another links). Obviously the betting market is headed by the home boys, McIlroy, GMac & Padraig. Of the three it will come to no surprise of regular readers of this blog that I would pick the Dubliner to fare the best. Tied 8th at Augusta and tied 4th at Olympic this year and another solid showing last week at the Travelers, means he is gaining momentum and is bound to end his winless streak soon. He treats this one as the 5th Major and will be keen to win it again and bring solid form into the British Open in a few weeks time. He is only 12/1 this week but is a must on my staking plan.

Chris Wood in his short career has shown a liking for links. Strong showings in the British Open back this up. He finished just 1 shot outside a playoff in Cologne last Sunday and recent results clearly indicate solid form and he will quietly fancy his chances this week. Seeing Danny Willett win last week could inspire him to believe his turn his coming and he has the skills and temperament to contend up North this week. At 33/1 he is real each way value with 6 places on offer.

My third pick this week is Joost Luiten. The Dutchman has also shown a penchant for links golf. Not in great form this season although finished runner up at Celtic manor a few weeks back and but for a poor weekend last week could have finished much higher than 38th. He will like the setup here and could come under the radar which many have done in the past at this event but is well worth taking e/w at 50/1.

TIP 1 2pts WIN .P. Harrington @ 12/1 Paddypower.
TIP 2 1 pt e/w C.Wood @ 33/1 Paddypower.

TIP 3 1 pt e/w J.Luiten @ 50/1 Paddypower.