The tournament comes to us from Portstewart this week in Northern Ireland. It’s the first time this course will host the Irish Open.
Jon Rahm ($9,700) – While it’s hard to ignore Rory McIlroy in his home country, I’m going to suggest that Jon Rahm is a slightly better target. Rahm is coming off a great bounce back week in France where he put his U.S. Open debacle behind him with a T10 finish. The Spaniard may not have full control of his emotions, but his game is hard to beat when it’s on. While a shorter links course may not seem to be a great fit, Rahm grew up in Europe playing more technical tracks and may welcome the challenge of Portstewart after failing so badly on the monstrous Erin Hills. DraftKings wise, I think he’s great value this week at under $10K and won’t be shocked if he upstages Rory at his own event.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($9,400) – Cabrera-Bello should find this week’s venue quite enticing as it’s not particularly long and yet could play extremely tough if the wind gets up. Bello has been not quite as consistent as were used to of late, but he’s taken to this event over the past few years posting a line of T26-T4-T8 finishes here since 2014. He still ranks inside the top-10 in Greens in Regulation on the Euro Tour as well and a return to his native continent might be the motivation he needs to finally notch another win.
Andy Sullivan ($9,200) – It’s easy to forget about the diminutive Englishman in stronger fields like the one we’re seeing this week, but Sullivan should be well suited for the task ahead at Portstewart. Sullivan has been under-the-radar good this season and has now made the weekend in his last eight starts, posting top-15s in two of his last three. Sullivan is another player who should thrive on a coastal links test and also will benefit from a shorter track, he’s a nice target this week.
Paul Dunne ($8,200) – It would be blasphemous not to mention at least one Irishman at the Irish open. Dunne made a nice return to action last week after missing the cut at the U.S. Open, as he finished with one of the best rounds of the week in France and ended up T13. The Irishman has been close all season, and with this event taking place in Northern Ireland, he should have some extra support on his side this week. This will only be his second Irish Open, but with a ton more experience under his belt and good form coming in, I expect him to perform better than his last time out at this event when he finished T60.
David Horsey ($7,500) – Horsey didn’t play last weekend but isn’t someone we should forget about this week on DraftKings. The Englishman has typically taken to easier venues well over his career and again, with the course being narrower and less distance focused, he’s the type of golfer I want to target this week. Horsey semi-disappointed his last time out, but signs are there that he could go close again soon, as he has a second and seventh place finish in his last four starts. He’s a good target this week and could go a little under-the-radar here.
Thomas Aiken ($7,100) – Aiken is a player to watch this week in my opinion, as he’s returned back to Europe after the U.S. Open and showed some good form in France last week, posting a T23 finish. Overall Aiken has shown good form in his last two starts (he made the weekend at the very long Erin Hills) and should be well suited for a shorter/narrow track this week. He doesn’t have a ton of Irish Open experience to fall back on but is a quality player at a very forgiving price this week and someone to take advantage of on DraftKings.
Bradley Dredge ($6,700) – Dredge looks like nice value this week. The Welshman’s only missed cut in his past four starts was at the U.S. Open and he was in contention in France last week until a disastrous final round, which culminated with a double-bogey on 18. I’d look for Dredge to bounce back quickly, however, as he’s now been in contention over his last two European starts and should find the shorter Portstewart course more pleasing. As a former winner in Madeira, he should also be used to any bad weather that hits the seaside venue this week.
Nino Bertasio ($6,500) – Bertasio has played some consistent golf of late, making four of five cuts and should find the more technical test this week at Portstewart inviting as well. The Italian has had some solid results at other links venues over the past couple of years and also will not mind if the wind gets up and things play tougher than advertised. He was second last year in the Irish Challenge Tour event, which was played at a different venue but is encouraging nonetheless. His recent form suggests this is a good price to target him at.
Joakim Lagergren ($6,300) – Lagergren has been hard to judge this year as he’s posted some good results over the past year or so but has also faded badly in big spots. The fact he was able to bounce back from his disappointment at the BMW International Open with a made cut in France is encouraging though. Lagergren has taken well to Links venues before and finished top-five at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last season, so a good result here wouldn’t be shocking. He’s great value at under $6,500 this week.
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