We're not too far up the road from me this week for the Irish Open from Carton House in Maynooth and the market leaders are arguably some of the most predictable of the season. The Irish lads especially will see big money so they obviously dominate the betting but if you do fancy a punt on one of the home boys, Shane Lowry is exactly that. Lowry actually lives on Carton House estate and at 25s/28s arguably offers up a little value for the Irish Open 2013
With wind more than likely to play a big part I'll be approaching the Irish Open differently though: all my picks this week opened in triple figures and I'll be backing them with the hope that one or two can put in a strong challenge as some of the bigger names are blown out of contention. For me this event is largely wide open and a winner from deep down the betting wouldn't surprise me at all.
The Montgomerie course at Carton House is a difficult in-land, exposed, links type course where the premium is very much on precision play, both from the tees and especially with approaches, where distance control will be vital. Greens will be kept under 11' on the stimp with high winds forecasted at stages and the course is set to play fast and firm. Deep bunkers line the fairways and greens and any wayward approach will be caught by the undulations, bringing the ball back to the sand so don't forget your shovel if you're playing here. Average width fairways are undulating and tough to hit when it blows so those with good shot shaping ability should thrive at the Irish Open.
Step up Simon Dyson. The former Irish Open winner loves it over here and while he isn't in the greatest of form, a triple figure quote is too big to ignore. Putting and confidence has been the problem for Dyson of late but with the aforementioned premium of precision and shot shaping, Dyson is a name that certainly came to mind. Dyson's distance control with his irons when he won the Irish Open in 2011 was some of the best play I've seen.
Now to the two players I sent out to members early Monday afternoon before prices were cut and Gregory Havret and Matt Baldwin were the names to get the nod. Havret opened 100/1 6 places with Stanjames and even bigger with Boyles but I just missed that. The Frenchman has returned to form this season with a succession of top 25s after working hard on his game and just narrowly missed out on British Open qualifying yesterday. Havret also posted a top 15 in 2006 the last time the Irish Open was played at Carton House.
Baldwin - on the other hand - didn't have the best of fortune at Sunningdale yesterday but after his performance over the first 3 rounds at the BMW International and his links golf upbringing, an opening quote of 100/1 was way too big in my opinion. If the wind does blow, Baldwin should have an advantage at Carton house.
Next we have two guys along the same theme who both put in good performances at the difficult Wentworth track this year and Alejandro Canizares and David Drysdale also both went well in Open Championship Qualifying so form is there. The duo have the games to suit Carton House, particularly David Drysdale who is still available 125/1 6 places with Stanjames and plays the tougher tests well. I keyed Drysdale into the golf predictor model over at Golf Betting system and with ratings of 9 and 10 respectively for driving accuracy and greens in regulation and the Scot came in at number two.
Last but not least is another man who got my attention on that golf model. No. 12 is Steve Webster who is another player that excels from tee to green but is often let down by the putter. With emphasis on pars rather than birdies at Carton House, Webster - whose form has been up and down of late - could feature at the Irish Open this week and 150/1 6 places with Boyles is worth a bet.
A quick mention for Kevin Phelan who did so well in US Open qualifying and then continued in the same vein in the event itself two weeks ago. Phelan is 22s to finish in the top 10 with Stans and may also be worth a small investment.
For full picks, odds and staking plan, see spreadsheet (all prices from Monday emails). AT&T National picks will be available on Wednesday night for non members. Follow me on Twitter :@Nicspicks as always for more thoughts and insight
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