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Rory McIlroy should be suited by the benign conditions this week and can continue the good form he’s been displaying in the US. Back him to win at +550 with bet365.
Jason Scrivener is in fine form after recent finishes of third and seventh and can beat Joost Luiten over 72 holes in a -110 pick ‘em at bet365.
Kalle Samooja has five top 20s in his last 10 European Tour starts. That 50% strike rate makes the Finn a value bet for another at +350 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Rory McIlroy for the win at +550 with bet365
Jason Scrivener to beat Joost Luiten in a 72-hole match at -110 with bet365
Kalle Samooja to finish in the top 20 at +350 with DraftKings Sportsbook
|Irish Open Information|
|Location||Mount Juliet Estate, Co Kilkenny, Ireland|
|Time||Thursday, July 01 – Sunday, July 04|
|How to Watch||Thursday 8 am-1 pm (Golf Channel), Friday 5 am-6 am & 8 am-11 am (Golf Channel), Saturday 8 am-8.15 am (Golf Channel), Sunday 8 am-8.15 am (Golf Channel). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
The Irish Open evokes images of stunning coastline scenery with players dressed in bobble hats trying to combat blustery winds.
You won’t see that this week!
This event is nomadic in nature and this time it heads to the Mount Juliet Estate in County Kilkenny in the south part of Ireland.
Rather than a links track, Mount Juliet is a parkland course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The 7,250-yard inland course has generous tree-lined fairways and plays to a par of 72.
And instead of rain and gusts, the weather looks extremely pleasant: temperatures are in the high 70s and wind speeds are light to modest.
In that sense, it seems more of an American-style test than a true Irish one.
As for course history, Mount Juliet hosted this event in 1993, 1994, and 1995 and (this is where it could ring a bell) the 2002 and 2004 editions of the WGC-American Express Championship.
Tiger Woods won that prestigious event with 25-under in 2002 while Ernie Els triumphed with 18-under two years later.
This will be the 66th running of the Irish Open. American John Catlin took first prize in 2020 at Galgorm Castle while newly-crowned US Open winner John Rahm hoisted the silverware in both 2017 and 2019.
Rory McIlroy won his home event for the only time in 2016 and he’ll try his luck again this week.
Rory McIlroy had a poor record in this tournament until he finally put that right in 2016 with a spectacular closing eagle to win at the K Club.
That it should come on an inland, parkland course is perhaps no surprise as McIlroy has always looked more comfortable playing American-style conditions than the links golf he grew up on.
Even when he won the Open Championship in 2014, that came in sunny conditions at Hoylake so the pleasant weather forecast and course are definitely on his side this week.
The fact that Tiger and Ernie Els won WGCs at Mount Juliet shows that the game’s elite are suited to this venue: another tick for McIlroy.
Of course, the last time he appeared on Irish shores, Rory had to suffer the trauma of a missed cut in the Open Championship in front of his adoring local fans at Royal Portrush.
That was due to a disastrous first-round 79 but let’s recall that he almost repaired the damage when shooting 65 on day two.
McIlroy has a point to prove this week and he has the form to do it.
Four starts ago he won the Wells Fargo Championship and last time he was a contender for US Open victory at Torrey Pines before finishing tied seventh.
His long game looked in excellent shape there and if a few putts drop he’ll be hard to beat here at +550.
The Jason Scrivener v Joost Luiten 72-hole match bet is put up as a -110 pick’em by bet365 this week.
On the face of it, Luiten seems in decent form after tied 11th in the European Open in early June followed by opening laps of 67-65 in the Scandinavian Mixed.
However, his final two rounds in the latter event were 78-75 and he finished tied 46th so what went wrong? The answer can be found on his website.
“The confidence in the short game, the chipping, is completely gone at the moment,” the Dutchman revealed.
I’ve already worked on chipping a few times with Anthony Wall, who now works as a TV commentator and so attends many tournaments. Anthony has also had the chip yips for a while. The muscles then stiffen, you feel panic when you have to chip. That’s what I’m experiencing now, I’m not going to be secretive about it. Anthony overcame the chip yips after a while, and I’m sure I will too.
Full marks for his honesty but confidence is clearly fragile.
By contrast, Scrivener has finished third and seventh in two of his last three events so looks a good candidate to take Luiten on with.
Kalle Samooja gets the vote for this week’s top 20 bet.
The Finn produces plenty of good finishes at this level and, starting with the Dubai Desert Classic in late January, he’s made the top 20 in five of his last 10 starts.
That’s quite a strike rate for a player ranked at +350 to have another in Ireland this week.
Those top 20s included third in the Tenerife Open, fourth in the Dubai DC, ninth in the Canary Islands Championship and 12th in the Kenya Open.
In other words, it appears Samooja likes playing with the sun on his back so the atypical weather conditions should suit him this week.
He missed the cut on his only start in this event but he does have a fifth place in Ireland from his Challenge Tour days and he’s finished ninth and 20th in two Scottish Open starts.
Bottom line: his price for a top 20 looks too big. Let’s get on board.
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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