The DP World Tour heads to the K Club in County Kildare this week, as they play host to the Irish Open for the first time since Rory McIlroy won the event in 2016. It also hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006, along with numerous other major events over the years.
The K Club represents a great test of golf over 7,350 yards and it’s a proper ball strikers’ type of course in my opinion, so if I was pushed to define the most important attribute, then it would have to be iron play. Basically, if you're missing the fairways here, you still have the opportunity to hit the greens in regulation and give yourself those birdie opportunities, so good iron play is essential.
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We have some really big names in the event this year ,which include Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry (who will be very popular with the home fans). There are also a few PGA Tour members due to turn up this week, including Min Woo Lee, Adam Scott and Tyrell Hatton, so it promises to be a cracking event.
Rory played the course so well in 2016. It really was a class performance and if he turns up in that kind of form again, then there’s no doubt he will be very tough to beat, but he’s way too short in the market to back when there is some seriously good value on offer this week.
My first betting tip for this week’s DP World Tour is going to be Thomas Detry. Now, he has been on my blacklist a fair bit this season as he does struggles to close out events from a good position at times, but that said, he fits the bill so perfectly this week that I couldn’t bring myself not to tip him up. He is long off the tee and has a superb long iron game, which should ensure he gets plenty of opportunities to make birdies this week and he is classy enough to win an event of this stature.
Doing so won’t be an easy task, with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Tyrell Hatton in the mix, but he has plenty of flare in his game and seems ready to break his duck sooner rather than later. He comes here fresh, having not played since the Open Championship, which gives him an advantage over those who played in the European Masters last week. Ultimately, the game is there, he just needs to maintain it consistently over four rounds. This is the only chance Thomas Detry will get from me, but he fits the bill very well here and is my strongest selection of the week.
Joost Luiten has played on Tour for years but he is in seriously good form this year and I think he has the tools to go close this week. He may find one or two too good with there being such a strong line up, but I think he is a really solid bet at 60/1. He won't be flustered by the big occasion, he is a very good iron player and I think he is going to go under the radar in this event.
He took a bit of time out after the Open Championship, which clearly paid off, as last week he returned with rounds of 66, 66, 68 and 65 to finish in a tie for fifth. He also had four impressive Top 5 finishes earlier this season and I think Joost Luiten is destined to have a good week at the Irish Open.
I really rate Rasmus Hojgaard as a player and he is definitely up to mixing with the best in the world. He actually has a very similar game to Thomas Detry, so he is really well-suited to this longer course. Quite honestly, I thought he was going to open up much shorter in the betting than 45/1, so he had to go in the squad with eight places available.
He plays superbly with his longer clubs and when he gets on a roll, he can shoot some seriously low scores too. Let’s not forget Rasmus is only 22 years old, he has a big career ahead of him and I can find plenty to like about him this week. I really fancy him to go close as he goes in search of DP World Tour title number five.
At the beginning of this season Guido Migliozzi was short-priced to make the Ryder Cup squad, having won three times on the DP World Tour. However, he lost his form completely for a few months and effectively played his way out of the Ryder Cup talk.
But that’s all in the past, he’s now back in seriously good form and produced two very low scores of 61 and 63 at the European Masters last week, so he is definitely swinging the club well again. He will need to remain in that sort of form to win this. but I think he has turned a corner and is worth chancing here with the eight places available. If he starts off well this week, I can see him continuing through in the same way and I think he’s gone under the radar a bit here.
Eddie Pepperell will love it here at the K Club. He has been coming into good form of late and has plenty of scope with his longer clubs. He took some time off for a few months to work on his mental game and it has worked wonders. He is playing with so much confidence and this is an event he is likely to really enjoy, which is a key factor.
When Eddie Pepperell feels good, he plays well and he is sure to be on a bit of a roll coming into this week after finishing eighth in the European Masters last weekend. He doesn’t carry a driver, which isn’t a massive concern, as he has plenty of length and I can see him scoring really well this week at the K Club.
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