McIlroy leads the way for home favourites at Irish Open
Following his rollercoaster ride at the Open earlier this month, Rory McIlroy is the pre-tournament favourite at 6/1 to win the Irish Open.
The 21-year-old carded a record first round of 63 at St Andrews before fading badly on the second day, and he will be determined to recover from this slump.
12/1 contender Justin Rose leads a chasing pack capable of exploiting such slip-ups from McIlroy, though the Englishman is outnumbered by a horde of Irish players.
McIlroy is the pivot of a mass Irish charge for the title, with US Open champion Graeme McDowell a tempting bet at 14/1 and Padraig Harrington close behind at 16/1 to win the Irish Open.
McDowell’s win in America has been the highlight of a memorable year for Irish golf, and while the Irish Open may not be a major, it should inspire its home players to perform well.
Irish Open champion in 2007, Harrington could be worth backing, while Darren Clarke looked to be regaining his best form at the Scottish Open recently, and he is 33/1 to win in Ireland.
Another Irishman, Shane Lowry, became just the third amateur to win a European Tour event when he clinched the Irish Open in 2009. Now a professional, Lowry is 40/1 to retain his crown.
McIlroy and company will also be in contention at the US PGA Championships in August, and you can bet on one of them to make it two Irish winners of majors in 2010 at a price of 7/1.
First of all, however, they will need to focus on winning this prestigious European Tour event.
Who do you think will be victorious in Ireland? Ross Fisher is a 20/1 contender. See the full Irish Open Betting Odds market.