Selectabet: Irish Open with Discover Ireland
July 26, 2011 Leave a comment
Date: 28th – 31st July 2011
Competition: Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland
Top-o-the-morning to you! If it’s not the craic filled Oirish Open from the Emerald Isle! Currently from Killarney, Eire – although next year likely testing for inclusion on the Open Rota from Portrush in the North since it IS capital of the golfing world (apparently). And up for the (likely Irish, if we are honest) winner this week is a whopping 250,000 potatoes.
Venue: Killarney Golf & Fishing Club (Killeen Course)
The Killarney lakes and high mountain range provide an imposing backdrop to Killarneys’ Killeen course that has recently got tougher with more length, faster redesigned greens and numerous water hazards to penalise wayward shots and reward longer accuracy that will be required here.
Yards: 7,161 yards
At last a proper European Tour event with proper European Tour players and not an overpaid sponsor invited American in sight! (I’m sure the uniquely spelled Scott Pinckney (300/1 with BetFred) is not overpaid or sponsor invited – although I can confirm that he is American).
Meaning it’s a relative big week for many of Ireland’s celebrated best and the top ranks of the Tour playing including Champion Golfer of the Year, Darren Clarke (28/1 with SportingBet), 2011 US Open Champion Rory McIlroy (crazily only 6/1 at SportingBet), 2010 winner Graeme MacDowell (18/1 at Betfred) plus lest we forget the imaginatively monickered and surprisingly English, Seve Benson (400/1 at SkyBet).
Lesser known Paddy’s include the very Irish sounding Dermot McElroy (750/1 with SkyBet), the Murphy brothers Gary (500/1 with SportingBet) and Mark (949/1 with BetFair) and rank outsider Eamonn Brady (1,000/1 with SkyBet).
This was a great tournament last year with the ever effervescent, fist pumping and charismatic bore draw Ross Fisher pipping Harrington into yawning submission in what was actually a closely fought run in. Expect more of the same close action this year, but better, especially if some of the homeboys are in the reckoning. If nothing else, remember this when placing your bets – Ireland will go mad for a home grown winner – in light of recent major results and so any Paddy performing near their very best will be motivated and carried on the locals’ Murphy’s ale fuelled euphoria and could be like no other tournament on Tour. That alone will be worth a shot per round…
The Killeen course has fantastic closing holes although this week, I’m considering the spectacular but nerve jangling par 3, 10th to inspire the locals as they seemingly play onto the lake from a raised tee. Equally, the 13th is a very tough par 4 and possibly the toughest hole on the course called the ‘Tiger’ hole. It’s a grip it and rip it one with a decision for the shorter hitters to play short or to carry the stream 60 meters short of the green. Lastly, the 18th hole is one of the most memorable in golf (says Gene Sarazen). It’s a classic finishing hole where a par is really like a birdie here. However what is really important is who will be kissing the Blarney Stone and who will be a jigging down the streets
Ones to watch:
French born Christian Cevaer (300/1 with Victor Chandler) is worth watching this week; a largely unknown character but a consistent and steady golfer. Cevaer is solid putter and is Ross Fisher-esque in character and has performed well at the top having won two Tour events including the European Open at The London Club as recently as 2009. He loves listening to Dana and watching re-runs of Father Ted so will be a big hit with the over friendly locals.
Last years’ winner, Ross Fisher (23/1 with BetDaq), after a season largely up and down like a brides nightie, will be inspired by the place of his most recent victory that also sealed his place in last year’s Ryder Cup team at Celtic Manor. Posh Fisher was schooled at the Wentworth Club and loves this type of watery track. Currently a Tour top 20 greens in regulation player – his consistency will see him well for a place although whether he wins or not will be up to Murphy’s Law and the luck of the Irish.
Ones to win:
The first Irish golfer to win the Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award was Dublin born Peter Lawrie (85/1 with BetFair)in 2003. Since then he has captured the Open de Espana and has put in some staggering rounds to shoot him into contention. Playing the most consistent and accurate of his career and hoping to eat the full prize pot of Irish Stew and Champ in front of his home crowd, Lawrie (not Paul) is a patient Irish Open champion golfer in waiting.
However, mumbling Corr’s hits whilst jigging a Michael Flatley-esque Riverdance themed expressive dance solo on his way to the podium is current World Number 63 and, could it be any less impressive, Race to Dubai contender number 88, but finally coming back to some semblance of the form that delivered him three major titles in 14 months not three years ago is Padraig Harrington (18/1 with PaddyPower). Second here in 2010, Eire’s favourite son hopes to be the leprechaun up to Tour mischief this weekend as the serial trophy lover bids to bag another one for his cabinet.