The European Tour heads to Ireland this week, with the stunning links course at Ballyliffin on the northern tip of Donegal hosting the Irish Open.
Rory McIlroy hosts the event, while Spain’s Jon Rahm is the defending champion, admittedly having won on a different course. These two lead the betting and will be hard to beat if playing well, but Rory has missed the cut in four of his last five appearances while Rahm lost his temper in similar conditions last week.
Instead, with the wind set to blow and the course baked hard and fast, we’ll look to a couple of guys who have proved themselves in these conditions in the past and offer some value.
Austin Connelly has dual Canadian/American citizenship but has been playing on the European Tour for over a year now. A relatively slight fellow, he doesn’t hit it a mile off the tee but is accurate and can shape the ball when required. He finished top ten in the Open last year, at a monster price, and we’ll take a punt that he performs well this week.
Also on our ticket is Chris Wood. The Englishman fell just short in last week’s French Open but is clearly playing well. He has made his name on links courses, becoming the low amateur at the 2008 Open at Birkdale and then finishing third the following year at Turnberry.
He represented Europe in the Ryder Cup last time it was played in 2016 and needs to start performing very well at these big events to stand a chance of appearing again in September. We’ll take a punt that he does so this week.
Connelly 0.5 pts each way at 175/1, 1/5 the odds for the top eight places, SkyBet
Wood 0.5 pts each way at 40/1, 1/4 the odds for the top five places, Ladbrokes
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