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Aaron Rai likes parkland golf and can step up on his promising first appearance at Galgorm Castle. Back him at +3300 with bet365 for the win.
South African Jason Scrivener has been in far better form than Joost Luiten and can outscore the Dutchman in a 72-hole matchup -137 DraftKings Sportsbook
Clement Sordet has a win and a sixth in three starts at this week’s course. He’s been in decent form over the summer and can make the top 20 at +300 with DraftKings Sportsbook
Aaron Rai to win +3300 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Jason Scrivener to beat Joost Luiten in a match-bet -137 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Clement Sordet to land a top 20 +300 at DraftKings Sportsbook
|Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Information|
|What||Dubai Duty Free Irish Open|
|Where||Galgorm Castle Golf Club, Ballymena, Northern Ireland|
|When||Thursday September 24 – Sunday September 27|
|How to Watch||Thursday & Friday 8am-1pm ET (Golf Channel), Saturday 8.30am-1pm (Golf Channel), Sunday 8.30am-1pm (Golf Channel). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
Continuing the policy of playing events in regional clusters, the European Tour heads from the European mainland for a four-week stint in the UK. Over the next month, we’ll see the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and Scottish Championship, with the prestigious BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth sandwiched in between.
But the action starts in Northern Ireland, scene of last year’s Open Championship which seems like a lifetime ago. The tournament was originally scheduled for Mount Juliet Estate in County Kilkenny but that May date wasn’t viable due to the Coronavirus pandemic. And as well as a different place on the schedule, there’s a new venue too as Galgorm Castle Golf Club steps forward.
Punters may initially fear a lack of course form but, in fact, Galgorm Castle is well known. It’s staged six Northern Ireland Opens since 2013 and there are plenty in the field who know their way around the modern parkland course which is a 7,105-yard par 72 that opened in 1997.
Shane Lowry is both the fan and betting favorite. The last time he pegged it up north of the Irish border Lowry ended the week of his life hoisting the Claret Jug.
Then again, his first-ever Irish Open experience must run it pretty close. Lowry entered the 2009 edition at County Louth as an amateur and, to the delight of the shrewd insiders, scored a sensational win at 500/1.
He’ll begin his bid at 09:25 local.
Aaron Rai had his one and only look at Galgorm Castle in 2016. And it was a promising debut effort for the Englishman, who fired 69-67 on the weekend to take tied 23rd.
The course has enough rough on it to punish wayward drives so Rai’s accuracy off the tee should put him in good position regularly.
And if he hits his irons as well as he has been, Rai should be challenging for the title. At the UK Championship on his latest start, he gained 8.992 strokes on Approach while he’d been in the top eight for Greens In Regulation in four of his previous five starts.
The problem has been the putter but he had his best performance on the greens for some time when tied 15th at the UK at the end of August.
He ranked fourth for Putting Average there so his underlying numbers hint at a breakout week.
Rai has plenty of good form on parkland tracks and is a solid bet at +3300 with bet365.
Jason Scrivener has been one of the European Tour’s most consistent players over the last six weeks and that makes him solid match-betting material.
The South African was tied 14th at both the English Championship and Celtic Classic, T8 at the Wales Open and, after an early exit at Valderrama, again T8 at the Portugal Masters two weeks ago.
His rival in a matchup is Joost Luiten and, in past times, the Dutchman would have been a clear favorite to shoot the lowest 72-hole score. But not anymore.
Luiten is struggling and admitted as much in a post on his own website:
I have not been playing very well lately. In all fairness, I find playing tournaments in the bubble difficult due to corona. From hotel to the golf course and from the golf course back to the hotel, nothing more is allowed. I miss the normal atmosphere and the fun and on the track, I often have trouble focusing without an audience.But none of that should be an excuse.
Even if Luiten gets his act together and finishes around 25th that may not be enough against the in-form Scrivener.
Looking at the recent head-to-head form, they’ve played in the same event four times since golf restarted and Scrivener leads 3-1. Luiten’s one success came at Valderrama, one of his favorite venues, but even there he had to settle for T52.
Both are playing the course for the first time so there’s no edge there. The current form is our guide and Scrivener definitely holds the aces.
Clement Sordet is one of several in the field this week with winning experience at Galgorm Castle. The Frenchman captured the Northern Ireland Open there in 2015 and added a top-six when defending in 2016. That’s enough to put him in the crosshairs but he brings some nice current form to the table too.
Sordet returned to action with tied 17th in the British Masters at Close House. And three starts later he added tied 21st in the Wales Open. That was his last event so the fairly straightforward combination of current and course form suggests he can finish in the top 20 again.
His price of +300 at DraftKings Sportsbook looks more than fair.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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