When, Where and Why?
My American friends who are causal gold enthusiasts absolutely know about the British Open but the Irish Open, not so much. However, that's all about to change because I am going to tell you who will win and why in my Irish Open picks.
To begin, the first ball is teed on Thursday and the kiss and cry shenanigans will occur sometime late Sunday afternoon or early evening, local time. It's being held at the Carton House Gold Club in Kildare and the purse is 2,000,000 Euros with 333,000 earmarked for the winner. That takes care of the why part of the equation.
Let's take a look at a few favorites and even some long shots to walk off the emerald green lush of Carton House with the Waterford Crystal winner's trophy in hand and a big fat paycheck to boot.
Rory McIlroy +700
So he was a demigod in the latter part of 2012 after winning four tournaments including a major but now he's a bum after failing to win any of the 12 events this year and finishing in the top-five only once. He has stated that he feels suffocated by all the affection when he plays in his native Ireland so boo-bleepin'-hoo.
The kid's got as much diva in him as he does talent. Stay away from the chalk in this one because the angry young man is in a funk and he's not breaking out of it here.
Graeme McDowell +1100
The 2010 US Open champ and reigning RBC Heritage king has been erratic this season with two titles in the can but missing five cuts as well. I'm not comfortable backing someone as mercurial as McDowell particularly when he's one of the odds-on-favorites.
Thomas Bjorn +1400
If you like the chalk then he's your guy. Bjorn last won the Irish Open when it was played, well lookie here, at Carton House back in '06. The Big Dane has to be in your sites if you're looking to pick the winner. He's posted two second-place finishes in June alone and ready to take the top prize. He's the guy, and at betting odds of 14-1, he could hold the best value for our sports picks in this event!
Padraig Harrington +1600
Padraig looked razor sharp on the first two days of the Traveler's Championship in Connecticut last week but then he shot an underwhelming 72 on Saturday and a ten-over 80 on Sunday to topple from the top of the leader board to a tie for 72nd.
His confidence is shattered and he will wilt again At Carton House as he did last week at the TPC River Highlands.
Joost Luiten +2500
The 2013 Lyoness Open champion comes to Carton House with one of the biggest wins of his career in his back pocket as he edged Thomas Bjorn just a few weeks ago to become only the second player from the Netherlands to post two European Tour championships.
Though he's coming off an emotional win, he might just be a decent play in our Irish Open betting odds if you're of the opinion that nothin's sweeter than a repeater.
Jamie Donaldson +3300
Maybe I'm not thinking this through but the reigning Irish Open champion is 33-1 and he's got another European Tour victory this year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship when he shot 14-under and secured a one stroke victory to pocket over 336 thousand Euros for the effort. Donaldson is definitely on my list to make some noise and at this price I'll throw a few bucks his way.* Please note these Irish Open odds are courtesy of Bet365.com