Betting Tips: The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open heads to a new venue this week on the European Tour - here's what you need to know, and who to back.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation takes place at Ballyliffin GC in Donegal this week, at a course McIlroy has described as 'one of the toughest links courses in the world.'
The Rolex Series event heads to the 'pure links' course just a couple of weeks before the 147th Open Championship takes place at Carnoustie, and there are not only spots up for grabs at golf's oldest major but also plenty of Ryder Cup points on offer for European players hitting their stride at the right time.
Host Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm headline the event this week, with plenty of former European Ryder Cup members in action. And with conditions predicted to be relatively benign we're expecting there could be some lower scores, but who should you be backing - and how can you watch this week's action?
How To Watch
Sky Sports Main Event (10:30), Sky Sports Golf (10:30)
Sky Sports Golf (10:30), Sky Sports Main Event (11:50)
Sky Sports Golf (12:30)
Sky Sports Golf (12:00)
Betting Tips: Irish Open
Rory McIlroy: 13/2
Coming to the Irish Open after a T12 at the Travelers Championship, Rory is hoping to add a second Irish Open victory in three years at a course he played a lot at as an amateur. However, aside from his 2016 win, his record in the Irish open hasn't been great the last five years: MC-1-MC-MC-MC. He was runner up in his last European Tour start at the BMW PGA Championship, and followed that up with a T8 at the Memorial tournament before a MC at the US Open. Currently ranks T10 on PGA Tour for SG: Off the tee, SG: Tee to green and 12th for Scoring Average.
Jon Rahm: 7/1
The defending champion came close to victory at last week's French Open before a costly triple bogey during the final round dropped him in to a share of 5th. In his last five starts he's had three top 5s, a victory at the Open de Espana, a T63 and a MC at the US Open. The World No.5 is ranked 2nd for birdie average, 13th for GIR and 9th for putting average on the PGA Tour, where he plays most of his golf.
Rafa Cabrera Bello: 18/1
A clear lover of links, Cabrera Bello is the reigning Scottish Open champion, and has four top 10s in his last six starts at Irish Opens (although had a MC last year). MC in France last week but before that went T36-4-T8-T17, so we still think he could be a strong contender this week. Ranks 10th on European Tour for Stroke Av, 20th for Putts per round and 9th for Scrambling.
Andy Sullivan: 22/1
Hasn't finished worse than T35 since January and has recorded four top 10s in his last six starts, making him one of the most consistent players on tour this year. Finished T21 in France last week and was T20 at the Irish Open last year. Ranks 6th for birdies, 8th for SG: Off the tee and 23rd for SG: Putting on the European Tour so far this season.
Matthew Fitzpatrick: 22/1
Comes to Ireland off the back of a T27 at the French Open and T12 at Shinnecock Hills in the second major of the year. Was T8 at the BMW PGA Championship a few weeks ago, which is also his best finish at an Irish Open, coming T8 in 2015. Ranks inside the top 10 on the European Tour this year for par-3 scoring and par-5 scoring, and 20th for SG: Putting.
Shane Lowry: 25/1
The local favourite has played this course plenty of times, and has a great record at the Irish Open - having claimed the title as an amateur in 2009 before recording a T5 and three other top 23 finishes. Was T16 last week in France and ranks inside the top 35 on the European Tour for Par-3, Par-4 and Par-5 Scoring.
Russell Knox: 25/1
Knox may be based out in the US, but the Scot was brought up on links golf and is in a good run of form. Was T2 after an impressive final round in France that secured his spot at the Open in Carnoustie in two weeks time, which followed a T38 at the Travelers Championship and T12 at the US Open. He's only appeared at the Irish Open once before, and it was a runner-up to Rory McIlroy in 2016, but has finished T10 in two of his last three Scottish Open appearances. Ranks 6th in GIR and 17th in par-four scoring on PGA Tour.
Peter Uihlein: 30/1
Has two top 5s in his last five starts, and is teeing up in his first European Tour event of the year at Ballyliffin. Was T14 in the Irish Open last year, and hasn't missed a cut in three appearances.
Chris Wood: 33/1
On our list after a T2 finished in the French Open last week - which could have been a victory if it wasn't for two costly bogeys in his final four holes saw him end up one shot behind Alex Noren. In seven starts at the Irish Open has three top 10s, a T16 and three MCs.
Haotong Li: 35/1
His final-round 63 at Royal Birkdale to finish 3rd in the Open last year is enough to show you Haotong Li can handle links golf, but he's also not missed a cut at the Irish Open in three starts - including a T18 in 2016. Has shown good form recently, finishing T21 in France last week, T16 at the US Open and T19 at the Italian Open before that. Ranks inside the top 30 for birdie average, SG: Off the tee and par-3, par-4 and par-5 scoring on the European Tour.
Thomas Pieters: 40/1
Seems to be finding his form once more as he tries to work his way back towards appearing in the Ryder Cup team this September, having gone T31-T18-T14 in his last three starts. MC in the Irish Open last year, but calmer conditions might suit him this week.
Mike Lorenzo-Vera: 50/1
A mixed bag of results since a heartbreaking 2nd place for Lorenzo Vera in both GolfSixes and the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open. Has since gone 8th-T43-T16-MC-T16, and it feels like a first European Tour victory isn't too far away, although beware he has missed his last two cuts at Irish Open
Lucas Bjerregaard: 50/1
Has had four top 6s in his last six starts, but that does include a T71 and a T61 at last week's French Open. Skipped last year after a MC in 2016, although was T18 the year before. A riskier bet, but is ranked 11th for birdies and 19th for GIR on the European Tour.