McDowell the obvious pick for top Irishman at this year’s Open

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The Open Championship has been kind to the Irish over the years with three of the previous six tournaments being won by a man from Northern Ireland or the Republic.

Graeme McDowell heads into this tournament as one of world golf’s in-form players, and arguably one of the favourites to lift the trophy outright, a feat he is 25/1 to achieve.

The 2010 US Open champion has been in splendid form, culminating in his impressive victory at the French Open, his second European Tour success of the year.

G Mac also has a win on the PGA Tour under his belt with an impressive performance  at the RBC Heritage back in April.

Age is also on his side, with the last five champions at Muirfield all being in their early to mid-thirties. At 33 the Portrush man fits the bill perfectly; pair this with his form and the 13/8 about him being the top Irishman at the weekend looks generous.

Rory McIlroy is available at the same price. The youngest of the Irish golfers on show, he has a tied-third in this event back in 2010 but has only been able to get as high as 25th in his subsequent ventures.

He has yet to win a tournament in 2013, with his best finish of second at the Valero Open coming back in April, and his form coming in here makes him hard to support.

Darren Clarke was a shock winner at Royal St George’s back in 2011 as he won by three shots.

The 44-year-old has had a torrid time since his only Major victory, with his best finish tied-54th in the PGA Championship last year. In all of his other outings in the Big Four he has failed to make the cut, something reflected  in his 14/1 price to be the top Irishman around Muirfield this year.

Padraig Harrington has lifted the Claret Jug aloft twice before, with successive victories at Carnoustie and Royal Birkdale in 2007 and 2008.

The Dubliner has upped his game in the Majors over the last couple of years, registering tied-eighths and tied-fourths at the Masters and the US Open, while he just missed out on a top-20 finish at Merion this year.

Harrington is 5/1 to be the premier Irish player at a tournament he loves so dearly.

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

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