The Irish Open returns to Carton House Golf Club for the first time since 2006 and while there will be huge focus on the four Major winners that have come from the Republic and Northern Ireland in recent years, it may pay to side with the man who last won this event when it was staged at the County Kildare layout – Thomas Bjorn.
We tipped the Dane last week, when he went agonisingly close to winning in Germany – Bjorn was second to Ernie Els in Munich after trading odds-on during the final round – and there is much to suggest he can go one better a week on in Ireland.
A double-bogey six on the par four 14th hole derailed Bjorn’s challenge on Sunday but he was philosophical heading to the course he won at so dramatically seven years ago – when he fought back from an opening-day 78 to win by one from Paul Casey – vowing to keep ‘fighting hard until I win another tournament’.
His form figures now read 4-2-2, proof that his game is showing no weakness, with his driving in particular top class, and Bjorn should be the first name on your betting slip at 16/1.
Paul Waring has proved he is over his injury nightmare of 2012 with successive top tens coming into this week, and the Wirral golfer’s putting has been brilliant recently – another good four days on the greens will see him go close at 66/1.
Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and local favourite Shane Lowry, who is attached to this week’s venue, will attract plenty of cash but the Irish player who could be the best bet is Damien McGrane (100/1).
The County Meath pro was 19th at Carlton House in 2006 and has shown form on and around the greens with 14th-place finishes in both of his last two starts.
My three to follow – Bjorn, Waring and McGrane.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.