The Week in Golf: An 80/1 Englishman catches the Irish Open eye

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If there’s a dark horse lurking in Ladbrokes’ market for the 2016 Irish Open, then South Korea’s Jeunghun Wang is hiding in plain sight.

With six top-10 finishes in 10 starts this season, the 20-year-old is unquestionably enjoying the best campaign of his young career.

Consecutive wins, in the European Tour’s Trophee Hassan II and the co-sanctioned AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, have helped propel Wang from 169th in the world at the start of the year to 70th ahead of the Irish Open.

Despite a weight of current form behind him, the South Korean is only given a 50/1 chance of winning at the K Club this week.

That’s because a high-class field has assembled in Kildare, headed by world number three Rory McIlroy at 7/2 in the betting.

Masters champion Danny Willett is other top-10 player with an entry at the event and will be looking to bounce back from the missed cut he registered at the Players’ Championship in his return to action following his Augusta success.

In the last 11 editions of the competition the victor has hailed from the United Kingdom, so it’ll pay to stay close to home when looking for a player to side with.

Some of the usual British suspects can be found towards the sharp end of the market, with Shane Lowry, Lee Westwood, Russell Knox and Graeme McDowell all owning the shortest prices alongside McIlroy and Willett.

However at a price, it may be worth taking a look at Richard Bland, who is a 12-time veteran of this tournament and is in good form.

The 80/1 shot has five top-20 finishes in 12 appearances in the tournament. His best effort was a runners-up spot back in 2002, but finished in a tie for fifth in 2010, so is certainly capable of finding the frame this year. A more recent form line of T3-19-T11 certainly helps his cause too.

Across the pond, Jordan Spieth is the shock favourite for the Byron Nelson at 7/1.

Nine of the world’s top 25 players are on show in Texas and although he has fallen some way short of that ranking in recent times, Keegan Bradley can take steps towards returning to it at a venue he enjoys.

The 29-year-old’s maiden PGA Tour title came at the Byron Nelson and he’s recorded another top-five finish at the tournament in just five appearances. He’s a 66/1 chance this week.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.