Dyson can hoover up the competition
This is the first Irish Open to be held across the border in fifty-nine years and it is set to be the most successful tournament in European Tour history. Tickets for the Friday and the weekend's play have all been sold-out.
The Portrush natives McDowell (8/1) and Darren Clarke (50/1) will be participating in the event and they are not the only Irish Major winners involved in the event. McIlroy (6/1) and Harrington (10/1) are both taking part and will fancy their chances.
A strong field has been assembled that includes the American Keegan Bradley (33/1), he won a Major last year, the US PGA Championship. He is a hugely talented player but he is playing his first event in Europe and he will have never seen a course like Portrush.
The course is the Dunlice Links, the weather forecast looks rough and it will be very windy. The course will be long at tough and the natives should have a massive chance. Darren Clarke has been very poor since his British Open win and he will be looking to turn over a new leaf at Portrush. It is his local course so if he still struggles to make the cut, his game is really out of sorts.
Michael Hoey (40/1) is from Northern Ireland but he in not a really well-known player. His form has dipped since the start of the year but he won the Trophee Hassan in March and he has links form. He failed to qualify for the British Open but he won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year and he could be a great each-way bet!
Simon Dyson (33/1) is the holder of the event and he is strong at links golf. He has won a links event in 2009 and he is likely to be in contention come Sunday afternoon. He also came ninth in the British Open last year, his driving accuracy is better than ever this season and he is strong with the putter.
Outside of players from the UK and Ireland, George Coetzee could provide some value and he can be backed at 40/1 to win and 7/2 to finish as the top South African player. He is yet to win on the European Tour but he has been in contention before and he is often let down by poor play in the final round.
He recently came fourteenth at the Wales Open but he hit a seventy-four in the 4th round! He was third at the Scottish Open last year and an impressive fifteenth at the British Open. He is a big-hitter but his approach play is good and he is proven in the conditions.
Earlier this week, Jamie Donaldson (50/1) qualified for the Open Championship after blitzing the new course at Sunningdale with a second round sixty-two! The Scottish player will be coming into the event in good heart and he will be used to links courses as he is from Scotland.
Paul McGinley (35/1) is rolling back the years and he comes into the event in great form. He has three top-ten finishes in his last four tournaments and his driving distance and accuracy have not been as good since 2008.