The European Tour is in Africa again this week (I seem to saying that a lot!) with the playing of the Tshwane Open at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate. From an Irish perspective we hope Shane Lowry’s clubs have arrived off British Airways at this stage so he can put in a good showing!
This is another hard tournament to pick a winner but John is going to try to stay away from stats as they seen to mean nothing in these mixed field tour events like this. DC is going to pick 2 Ryder Cup hopefuls, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Morten Orum Madsen both of whom are in good form and are in with a real chance of sneaking in to Paul McGinley’s Ryder Cup team come September. You can get Rafa at best price of 20/1 with ToteSport and for somebody who has started the season so promisingly that is more than decent. Our Danish friend is a little higher, 35s best price with 888sport and 33/1 with most of the rest. All firms seem to be going 5 places only for this week’s European Tour stop.
We’ll give Shane Lowry a shout out here too, at odds of 70/1 best with Bet365 lets hope his clubs can do the talking this week if they arrive. Best of luck Shane!!
In the second of what will be weekly golf betting & tournament previews John Deasy now turns his attention to the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi.
Phil is DC’s pick to win early this year, very much based on his interview and his past performances on this course “As I look back on 2013 I played some of my best golf and had some huge breakthroughs but I did most of it without a driver,” the American left-hander told reporters on Tuesday. We all remember the interviews in the run up to The Open at Muirfield last year, when Phil think he is on he usually is!
“This year I have the best driver I’ve ever hit that lowers my spin rate just like my three-wood. I drive it longer and straighter with my driver than I did with my three-wood“, Mickelson added. “It’s a whole different weapon in my arsenal now and if I drive the ball well, like I have been in practice and in the off-season, heading into this 2014 season it could be the best year of my career for that simple reason“.Best price for Phil is 18/1 with BetFred and CORAL with 5 places while Paddy Power and Stan James are offering 16s with 6 places.
Peter Uihlein is playing some great golf already this season and he is looking to break into the top 50 this year along with having an outside chance of making his first Ryder Cup appearance so the pressure is on, he can only get stronger the more he plays and a great each way bet. The best price you can get Peter at is 80/1 with SpreadEx, 70s with Bet365 or SkyBet and 66 with most of the rest.
Aphibarnrat has had a very good start to the PGA Tour season and he’s been in the top 10 in 4 tournaments. He is one of the best iron players around with 88% of greens hit and you need that this week. Easy to back each way at 125/1 with William Hill, Bet365, and 888sport while he is 100/1 with most of the others and as low at 80s with Paddy Power.
Looks like it will be worthwhile backing the Yanks in Europe (well, on the European Tour at least!) this week. John’s “Break the Bookie Deasy Double” for this week is Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker with Paddy Power, a €5 e/w double should pay our close to €1,752 at current prices!
If you’d like to give John any feedback on his pick, or give out to him you will find him @johnalandeasy on Twitter! Prices accurate as of 1pm on 15/1/2014 via Oddschecker.com
The Irish Open will return to Fota Island Resort this year after being played there last in 2002. This will provide great news for the people of Cork and also Fota’s recent Chinese investors, The Kang Group Worldwide, who will be looking to showcase their new venue to golfers around Ireland, Europe and the World. There is no specific news on the future venues for the Irish Open but with many sponsors already committed to supporting the tournament, including The Kang Group itself, it promises to be a great few days at Fota! The date straight after the US Open is not particularly ideal still especially with it being followed by the BMW International, French Open, Scottish Open and The Open Championship as some players will take at least 1 week off between the US Open and Open Championship. The August Bank Holiday date that Killarney enjoyed was fantastic for fans although it would now clash with the WGC Bridgestone Invitational now, it’s tough to fit all these tournaments in to maximise the best fields but I think the Irish Open should start getting a better slot on the calendar with the event getting some security in the coming years.
The news has been heralded by many Irish tour professionals, including World no.7 Rory McIlroy who stated: “I think it is great news that the Irish Open will be played at Fota Island……..The country’s National Open should be moved around to give everyone an opportunity to see the event, and it also gives us the chance to show the world just how many amazing courses there are in Ireland. Fota Island will be an exciting venue for the Irish Open, and exactly the kind of place to showcase what Ireland has to offer as a golf destination.”
There have been quite a few changes to Fota since they last hosted the Irish Open in 2002, with significant investment in the Resort facilities itself along with much real estate being built and also an additional 9 holes to add to the Championship 18-hole course that hosted the 2001 and 2002 Irish Opens. It has always been a course kept in great condition and I’m sure this will be no different when June comes around.
It is also great to see the tournament supported locally by Cork City and County Councils as well as from the private sector in the form of BAM Contractors. Having such support on board already will take a lot of pressure off courting sponsors over the coming months, will this give the European Tour and/or Fáilte Ireland the opportunity to secure the future of the Irish Open with venues and also sponsors? I definitely hope so!
Advance tickets for the 2014 Irish Open are on sale now at a special promotional price of €25 for Adult Day Tickets and €50 for Adult Season Tickets (concessions €15 and €30). A limited number of tickets at those promotional prices – saving up to €10 for a day pass and €20 for a season – on the gate prices are currently available on a first come first served basis. Golf fans are encouraged to apply now for tickets on www.europeantour.com/tickets or www.irishopen.ie
When the sun shines at the Irish Open there are few better places to be and Cork is also great “craic” at tournament time as well………just don’t tell those langers that, they know that already!!