Irish Open Tips: Each-way selections for the Fota Island Cork-er

Can Harrington rediscover the old sparkle in his homeland?
Can Harrington rediscover the old sparkle in his homeland?

Dan Geraghty provided a healthy profit for the betting.betfair golf team at last week's US Open courtesy of brilliant 200/1 selection Brooks Koepka, and the quintet are hoping that success will spark a profitable summer starting with the action in Ireland this week...

Dan Geraghty: Back Padraig Harrington @ 67.066/1

"Harrington was second at Fota Island in 2001 and sixth the following year. He's since gone on to claim the Irish Open title (2007) and while 'Pod' has a mixed Irish Open record of late he registered top 10s again in 2010 and 2012."

*Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places

Dan Geraghty: Back Padraig Harrington @ 67.066/1

I'm an old romantic at heart; while Padraig Harrington has undoubtedly been in the doldrums in recent years (understatement), there is every reason to believe a return to Ireland could rejuvinate the three-time major champion. Harrington was second at Fota Island in 2001 and sixth the following year. He's since gone on to claim the Irish Open title (2007) and while 'Pod' has a mixed Irish Open record of late he registered top 10s again in 2010 and 2012. The Irishman will have been hurting at having missed the year's first two majors for the first time in eons, back him to take advantage of the favourites' US Open hangover.

Joe Dyer: Back Darren Fichardt @ 81.080/1

We're all employing a bit of guesswork this week as the Irish Open returns to a venue last seen in 2002. But with previous winners at Fota Island being the relatively short-hitting pair of Colin Montgomerie and Soren Hansen and the par-71 course measuring just 7,043 yards we don't need anyone with major length off the tee. In fact, being such a short track an accurate greens-in-reg type with a hot putter should stand a good chance of competing and my selection Darren Fichardt could well be that man. The South African finished runner-up to Hansen in 2002 and brings solid recent form to the event with a seventh place finish at the Open de Espana - a very tight course - looking particularly encouraging.

Steve Rawlings: Back Pablo Larrazabal @ 51.050/1

Pablo Larrazabal is playing much better than his recent form figures suggest. He got himself in to the mix at Wentworth three weeks ago but finished poorly to drop out of the places and he won't be delighted with his second round of 78 at Pinehurst on Friday which saw him miss the cut in his very first US Open appearance, after he'd played well in round one. He's already a winner this year, having beaten an impressive field in Abu Dhabi in January, and given he ranks inside the top-10 for both par 3 and par 5 scoring on the European Tour - which could be vital this week - I thought he looked a good fit for Fota Island.

Paul Krishnamurty: Back David Horsey @ 67.066/1

Englishmen have won four of the last six Irish Opens and, given what appear to be conditions that ideally suit his skills-set, David Horsey looks good value to keep the run going. With the weather set fair, we can expect low scoring and anybody without a hot putter need not apply. Among this field, only Wade Ormsby has a better putting average over the past three months, and only three players score better throughout 2014. After top-12s in five of his last nine starts, Horsey is well capable of landing a third European Tour title.

Mike Norman: Back Eddie Pepperell @ 67.066/1

If Eddie Pepperell can continue improving his finishing positions as he has since April then we're guaranteed a payout this week. The young Englishman has improved tournament by tournament, finishing 57th, 24th, 21st, and then sixth. Those last two performances were particularly eye-catching, his 21st coming at Wentworth in the BMW PGA International and his recent top-10 finish coming at a relatively strong Nordea Masters just over a fortnight ago. It's difficult to know what aspects of his game are his strengths at this early part of his career but during the last few seasons he's always hit form at this time of the year (he won on the Challenge Tour in May 2012 and produced a wonderful effort in the same month at Wentworth in 2013) and I don't envisage the short Fota Island course being a problem. He's an extremely talented and likeable player and if bringing his most recent form to the table then he can go well.

Season P/L (£5 e/w per selection)

1. Dan Geraghty: +£656.75
2. Joe Dyer: +£125.00
3. Steve Rawlings: +£23.75
4. Paul Krishnamurty: -£106.25
5. Mike Norman: -£180.00

Overall: +£519.25

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