The Money List: Golf tips for the Irish Open
Jack Green's golf tips for the first event of the European Tour's links swing include a player to win, an each-way shout and an outsider.
Back to win: Tyrrell Hatton
Links specialist Hatton has a great chance this week, having finished inside the top five twice in his last three starts at this event.
The 27-year-old is a two-time winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, and he has also finished inside the top five at the Open Championship and Scottish Open in the past three years.
Hatton is coming off a T21 at the US Open – a decent result considering Pebble Beach seemed to favour the bigger hitters – and a T8 at the Charles Schwab Challenge in May suggests he’s playing well enough heading into the European Tour’s links swing.
The world No. 43 has surprisingly only won three times in his career, but he gets into contention so often in links events that he’s worth a bet here.
Each-way shout: Erik van Rooyen
Van Rooyen has finished second twice on the European Tour already this year, and this could be the week he earns his first victory.
The South African is in good form, with two top-20s in his last three starts, and he picked up an impressive T4 in his Irish Open debut last year.
That preceded another excellent performance at his first ever Open Championship, when he was inside the top six after the first two rounds and eventually finished T17.
Those results are enough to suggest that the 29-year-old can compete in these conditions, and there’s a good chance he builds on last year’s showing to contend again this week.
Outside shot: Matthew Southgate
There’s great value in backing Southgate at a huge price this week given the success he’s had in links events in the past.
The 30-year-old finished fourth in the 2016 Irish Open and second a year later, and he also has two finishes of 12th or better in four starts at the Open Championship.
While he is yet to win on the European Tour, Southgate triumphed at the St Andrews Links Trophy – an amateur event – in 2010, beating his nearest competitor by five shots.
He’s missed the cut in each of the past two weeks but went T9-T6 in the two starts prior to that, and the switch to links golf could spark a return to form.
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