The expected inclement weather is what puts me off Rory McIlroy this week, that and the media coverage in his own country which has seemed to overwhelm him in recent renewals of this tournament. Home pressure may also be too much for Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell, even though both played well last week, whilst showing off his green jacket may be too big a distraction for Masters Hero Danny Willett.
If that’s all true, then this week could be a great opportunity to back some bigger-priced players, and I’m recommending backing 6 players each-way, and one player to finish in the top-10.
Rafa Cabrero Bello 1 point each-way @ 33/1 (Skybet) 6 places ¼ odds
Cabrero Bello was in brilliant early-season form, and he probably wasn’t that bothered to miss the weekend at the Players Championship as he should arrive here fresh enough to continue his brilliant form in this event 2/5/26/4. His tee-to-green game has been excellent all season, and there’s no reason why this test won’t suit him ideally.
Berndt Wiesberger 1 point each-way @ 40/1 (Skybet) 6 places ¼ odds
The Austrian has finished 4/2 on his only two appearances in this event, and his power-hitting should be ideal this week, probably meaning he only needs a good week with the putter to be on the premises.
Ross Fisher 1 point each-way @ 60/1 (Boylesports) 5 places ¼ odds
Fishers form is a model of consistency in the Irish Open 1/17/10/22/8/35, and he seems to raise his game whenever he arrives in Ireland. His driving stats this year are top-notch, and that should be a huge asset this week.
Thomas Pieters 1 point each-way @ 55/1 (Bet365) 5 places ¼ odds
The young Belgian blows hot and cold, but when he’s hot he’s capable of mixing it with the best, and his power could put him right in contention this week.
Lucas Bjerregaard 1 point each-way 100/1 (Betvictor) 5 places ¼ odds
The Dane is another with immense power, and three Danish players have won this title in the last 14 years.
Anthony Wall 2 points Top-10 @ 18/1 (Various Bookies)
Anthony Wall has hit the top-10 an amazing 5 times in his last 9 Irish Opens and, whilst he’s approaching the veteran stage, 18/1 for him to do so again just looks too big.