The Irish Open is a standing dish on the European Tour and always a favourite with the players – not just on account of the spectacular courses on offer, but no doubt due to the customary hospitality that surrounds the event!

And we’re back at the same venue this week as 2021, the Mount Juliet estate in County Kilkenny.

Irish Open

There’s long been an Irish Open, in fact the first staging of the event was in 1927. A moveable feast, the tournament is regularly played in both Northern Ireland and the Republic (this year it’s in the Republic). With the success of Irish golfers, and its proximity to the UK, the event has always attracted a field full of well-regarded British and European players, plus plenty of homegrown talent. The event also signals the build-up to the Open Championship, and gives players the chance to base themselves in and around the UK and Ireland before heading to next month’s Major at Royal St. Georges on July 15th.

Prizemoney $6 million ($650,000 to the winner)

Field 156

Highest ranked players: Lowry (24), Hatton (27), Pieters (34), Power (36), Herbert (48), Larrazabal (68), Burmester (90), MacIntyre (100)

2021 result:
-19 Lucas Herbert ($34)
-16 Rikard Karlberg ($151)
-15 Johannes Veerman ($276)
-14 Richard Bland ($81)
-14 Grant Forrest ($276)
-14 Francesco Laporta ($501)
-14 Richie Ramsay ($201)
-14 Dale Whitnell ($201)

Irish Open: The Course

This week the players are at the Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown, County Kilkenny – located in the south-east of Ireland, not too far north of Waterford. The course is a 7,250-yard par 72 and was originally designed by none other than Jack Nicklaus. A picturesque parkland course, that’s easy on the eye… if not quite so friendly to the players! It’s not been used much in recent times, but the venue did hold this event in the 1990’s and also a couple of WGC tournaments back in 2002 and 2004. As ever with a Nicklaus course, good play can be rewarded with a low score.

72-Hole Record 264: Jon Rahm (2017).

18-Hole Record 62: Sergio Garcia (2002).

The Weather

There’s rain forecast (70%-50%-50%-20%) during the four days in Ireland. Temperatures will be below the seasonal average, just reaching the mid 60’s through the week. We’re well inland, so unlike many an Irish Open on the coast, the wind won’t be much of a factor, speeds reach a maximum of 10-12mph during the fours days.

Irish Open 2022: Value bets

These are two each-way outright bets from the Golf Insider. Members receive all of his best bets for all markets – win and each-way, Top 10, Top 20, Round 1 Leader and 3-Ball groups. He covers every tournament on the PGA and European Tours.


Aaron Rai $23 with TopSport

A runner-up in this tournament back in 2020, the man from the Midlands will surely benefit from a drop in class – this week’s field is by no means star-studded. Rai’s last three starts on the PGA Tour have seen him finish 26-13-40 as his usual arrow-straight game off the tee has allowed him to settle well in the US. What has held him back the most is his putting, and for Rai to challenge this week he’ll need to have the flatstick good and hot. But with positive memories of this tournament, back at home, and in a weaker field than we usually see Stateside, Rai looks a decent bet for me.

$23


Jordan Smith $29 with TopSport

Last week’s International Open was in many ways the perfect illustration of Smith’s career. A very talented golfer, who is perfectly able to string together a number of good rounds, but who all too often fails to convert these opportunities into tournament wins. And the bare facts are one career win for Smith in 146 starts. However, there have been 8 other podium finishes, and a further 15 inside the Top 10. So I’ll take last week’s final round under-performance as a spur for the Englishman to go all four rounds this week – not just three! Smith continues to play very well from tee-to-green and should appreciate the set-up at Mount Juliet. All things considered, I’m prepared to back him again this week.

$26


The Golf Insider is a GUN. Look at these winners, all since the start of 2020...

Sebastian Garcia-Rodriguez $126, Roger Sloan $126, Mark Hubbard $126, Tom Hoge $101, Pablo Larrazabal $91, Jeff Winther $91, Nino Bertasio $81, Sam Burns $67, Jhonattan Vegas $67, Lucas Herbert $67, Haotong Li $67, Joaquin Niemann $58, Brian Stuard $51, Ted Potter Jr $51, Russell Henley $51, Victor Perez $51, Harold Varner $51, JT Poston $51, John Catlin $46, Pablo Larrazabal $46, Max Homa $41, Talor Gooch $41.

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