Irish Open 2014 – Lowry To Shine On Home Soil
Irish Open 2014
The Deerpark Course on Fota Island in Cork hosts the 2014 Irish Open. A star-studded field is expected for Ireland’s only tour event.
The only European Tour event held in Ireland, the Irish Open dates back to 1927. It has been played at a number of different Irish courses, and has been moved around the calendar in recent years, but it still attracts one of the largest attendances for any European Tour event. Only six non-Europeans have ever won it, the last of those being Australian Brett Rumford in 2004.
This year the Irish Open has moved south to the Deerpark Course at the Fota Island Golf Club, Cork, host of the 2001 and 2002 editions. Set in mature woodland, it’s a par-71 course of a little over 7000 yards, with wide fairways and light rough. Water is in play at some holes, there are a few well-sited bunkers and the undulating greens may catch a few out, but the course isn’t too demanding.
In The Bunker
After a miserable 2013, Rory McIlroy has been climbing back up the rankings, but has not yet recaptured his world-dominating form of 2012. He’s played some brilliant golf but has also shown an unfortunate tendency to throw in one bad round per tournament, and that makes him a risky proposition at short prices. He’s up against some solid European opposition this week and I can’t back him at 9/2.
After his breakthrough victory in Turkey at the end of 2013 and a promising start to 2014, Victor Dubuisson’s season was disrupted by a shoulder injury at the Masters, which kept him out for two months. But the talented young Frenchman has returned in good form, finishing second at the Nordea Masters and putting in a solid performance at the US Open. A second Tour victory surely won’t be long in coming and Dubuisson represents excellent value at 18/1 this week.
Shane Lowry missed the cut at the US Open last week after a disastrous conclusion to the second round, but if he can put his American frustrations behind him, he can go well at Fota Island.
Lowry has shown some good form in recent weeks, including a second at Wentworth and this is a tournament he enjoys, having won it in 2009 and made the top five last year. Back him to bounce back at 25/1.
After securing a string of top ten finishes at the start of the year, Rafael Cabrera-Bello hit a lean spell, but there have been promising signs in the last three weeks. He recovered from a poor showing at the Spanish Open to open with a 65 at Wentworth, before putting in a solid effort at the Nordea Masters to crack the top ten. He could be coming into form at the right time for a tournament where he finished second in 2012 and fifth last year. Back him at 33/1 to pick up his third Tour victory.