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Thomas Pieters got pipped in a playoff last week but can show his class with victory here. Back the Belgian to triumph at +1800 with Caesars Sportsbook.
Guido Migliozzi starts for the first time since his top 15 at the US Open and can beat out-of-form Nicolai Hojgaard in a 72-hole match bet at -120 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Alexander Bjork has a top 10 and two top 25s in his last four starts and shot a 66 here last year. Back the Swede for a Top 20 at +333 with bet365.
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Mount Juliet in Ireland will be a familiar venue to those who have followed golf for a long time.
Tiger Woods shot 25-under to win the WGC-American Express Championship there in 2002 and two years later Ernie Els won the same event by a shot after carding 18-under.
Back in the 1990s, another celebrated trio – Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Sam Torrance – won the Irish Open at Mount Juliet.
After a lengthy gap, it returned to the DP World Tour schedule in 2021 and this time it was Aussie Lucas Herbert who emerged victorious after touring the par 72 in 19-under.
The Jack Nicklaus design in Co Kilkenny measures 7,264 yards and the first thing to know is that it’s an inland, parkland track.
In that sense, it’s not an obvious way to warm up for the Open Championship in two weeks’ time.
However, this is a big tournament in its own right and carries a $6m purse, more than twice as much as the standard DP World Tour event.
Irish Opens and past events at Mount Juliet show a storied list of winners and whoever lifts this trophy on Sunday will notice that Seve Ballesteros, Colin Montgomerie, Faldo and Langer all have their names engraved three times each.
It’s also the tournament where Shane Lowry made his name when winning as an amateur in 2009. Those who landed the 500/1 coup will never tire of talking about it.
Lowry is here to try his luck again but Rory McIlroy, the 2016 winner, is not.
Jon Rahm won the Irish in 2017 and 2019 but again scheduling means he doesn’t line up this year.
One added incentive this week is that three Open places are available for anyone who finishes in the top 10 and isn’t exempt for St Andrews.
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Thomas Pieters had victory stolen from him by Hao Tong Li last week when the inspirational Chinese golfer drained a 40-foot putt at the first extra hole.
Pieters missed his own 10-footer for birdie and suddenly the BMW International Open had slipped from his grasp.
But there must be a fair chance that the big-hitting Belgian makes amends here.
Prior to that second place in Germany, Pieters had dug deep to finish tied 27th in the US Open.
That was his first start since a top 10 at the Dutch Open three weeks earlier.
Pieters is driving it superbly, has a hot putter and his irons look decent too.
On this course last year, the former Ryder Cup star shot 70-69-68-69 to tie for 12th and he has better recent form than he did then.
With victories at November’s Portugal Masters and January’s Abu Dhabi Championship, the winning feel is fresh in Pieters’ mind and this looks a great chance for him to show his class once more.
Back him for the win at +1800 with Caesars Sportsbook.
We landed another 72-hole match bet in convincing style last week when Jordan Smith outgunned Bernd Wiesberger by 13 shots at the BMW International Open.
This time I’m siding with an in-form Guido Migliozzi to beat an out-of-form Nicolai Hojgaard.
It’s usually Hojgaard and Danish twin Rasmus who get talked of as potential greats of the DP World Tour and clearly the two 21-year-olds are something special.
But let’s big up Migliozzi too. He’s still just 25, owns two DP World Tour titles and has posted tied 4th (2021) and tied 14th (2022) in the last two editions of the US Open.
That top 15 arrived via a closing 66 at The Country Club and came just two starts on from his top 10 in the Dutch Open.
Hojgaard, by contrast, is in a dip after three missed cuts and a WD last week. His last five round scores are 78, 75, 73, 74, 80.
Of course, the Dane can suddenly click into gear but Migliozzi must have bags of confidence and the Italian is a proven performer on parkland tracks.
Both are seeing Mount Juliet for the first time but Migliozzi is a confident pick at -120 (DraftKings Sportsbook).
It didn’t work out for Alexander Bjork on home soil when he missed the cut at the Scandinavian Mixed on his latest appearance.
But that can happen if trying to force things in front of a local crowd.
Prior to that he was on a nice run, with tied seventh at the Dutch Open and twin top 25s either side in the Soudal Open and European Open.
And that form suggests the Swede is worth a bet to finish in the top 20.
Bjork posted tied 14th in the 2018 Irish Open and has made the cut in the last two. That includes playing all four rounds at Mount Juliet last year when he shot a Friday 66.
Take Bjork to find his groove again and land a top 20 at +333.
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|Horizon Irish Open Information|
|Tournament||Horizon Irish Open|
|Location||Mount Juliet, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, Ireland|
|Time||Thursday June 30 – Sunday July 03|
|How to Watch||Thursday & Friday 8am-1pm ET (Golf Channel), Saturday 8am-12.30pm (Golf Channel), Sunday 8am-12.30pm (Golf Channel). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
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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.
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