The European Tour heads to Ireland for the Irish Open on Thursday and there will be another new venue for a tournament that moves around as the Palmer Course at the K Club in County Kildare plays host. It will be the first time that a European Tour event will be played here since the European Open in 2005 and the 7,350 yard course is likely to have changed during the intervening years but the risk-reward golf that has treated previous winners so well here previously could prove fruitful again...

19th May - 22nd May Odds Won/Lost Bet

Irish Open
Lee Westwood (each way)  
Best Bet
@ 35 / 1  
Joost Luiten (each way) @ 35 / 1  
Bernd Wiesberger (each way) @ 45 / 1  
Darren Clarke (each way) @ 500 / 1  

The Market Leaders

Rory McIlroy heads here as a 4/1 favourite for an event that is hosted by his charitable foundation but the four-time major winner is short enough when considering his recent form. He faces stiff competition for US Masters winner Danny Willett, who makes his first European Tour appearance since his famous Augusta win, and he can be backed at 18/1 after finishing in the top-ten in each of his past three outings at the Irish Open.

Meanwhile, Shane Lowry is next best at 22/1 as he returns to a tournament that he won as an amateur in 2009, while Jeung-Hun Wang (66/1) will bid to become only the third person in history to win three European Tour events in a row - Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros were the other two.

Westwood To Drop A Winning Beat

Our first pick of the week has to be Lee Westwood though as there is something about the K Club which seems to bring out the best in the Englishman. He is a two-time winner at the K Club and his five other outings here have yielded four top-25 finishes, while he also won four points for the victorious European team when the 2006 Ryder Cup was held here. Westwood has shown glimpses of his best this season when finishing runner-up at the Thailand Classic and the US Masters, where he finished inside the top-three for greens in regulation stats.
Tip #1: Lee Westwood (each way) @ 35/1 with Bet Victor.

Luiten Is Joost Right

Finding GIR has proven to be important in previous years here and that augurs well for Joost Luiten, who ranks 13th for GIR stats on the European Tour this season. Luiten has been in sublime touch without winning this term, racking up eight top-fifteens in his past eleven starts, including four top-fives. The Dutchman returns refreshed following a short break since the China Open and he will enjoy a return to the Irish Open, where he finished tied 9th in 2010 and runner-up in 2013.
Tip #2: Joost Luiten (each way) @ 35/1 with Paddy Power.

You Won't Get Your Fingers Bernd With Wiesberger

Bernd Wiesberger is another player who enjoys Ireland as his two outings at the Irish Open have seen him finish 4th in 2011 and then runner-up last year, with the Austrian missing out to Soren Kjeldsen (45/1) in a play-off. Wiesberger has made his last five cuts worldwide and he should relish the easier nature of this challenge in Ireland as he has performed credibly when taking on some tough assignments on the PGA Tour, finishing tied 34th at the Masters and tying 49th at The Players last time out.
Tip #3: Bernd Wiesberger (each way) @ 45/1 with Unibet.

The Long Shot

Finally, Darren Clarke is in no sort of form right now but he will be relishing a return to the K Club, where he boasted an impressive record during his pomp. Quite simply, he loves it here as he won three points for Europe at the 2006 Ryder Cup and he also fired a stunning round of 60 at this venue in 1999, while he finished inside the top-25 in each of his final eight appearances when the European Open was held here, with his form during that time reading: 25-4-2-7-1-20-5-4.
Tip #4: Darren Clarke (each way) @ 500/1 with Bet Victor.

2016 Irish Open Odds