Find Me a 100 Winner: A trio of links specialists at huge odds for the Irish Open

Kiradech Aphibarnrat's links prowess may be under-rated by the market
Kiradech Aphibarnrat's links prowess may be under-rated by the market

Following another exciting and profitable weekend, thanks to Alexander Bjork's tremendous run at a 349-1 miracle, this week's column takes in the Irish Open from the links of Portstewart...

"Wall has bags of links form. He's twice finished top-12 in an Open and top-five in the Dunhill Links...Furthermore, his Irish Open is excellent - with the best of six top-15 finishes coming in 2012, when runner-up at nearby Portrush."

Back Anthony Wall @ 440.0439/1

Whichever way you look at it - whether the quality of fields, courses or TV coverage during sociable hours (for Europeans) - mid-summer is easily my favourite spell on the golfing calendar. Every week sees elite fields competing for big titles on great courses. Each a wide-open betting heat.

This week's Irish Open is the second of four consecutive national Opens, culminating in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. In the first, Alexander Bjork bagged this column 16 units overall profit with a thrilling run at the Open de France from odds of 350.0349/1. Once again, there are no shortage of plausible candidates around that price or beyond.

The next three events are all played on links courses, and that offers a significant betting angle. The challenges here are quite different from the types of courses played most weeks, especially in bad weather, and the recent formbook may well be overturned. While there are many in-form types for whom a true links test is far from ideal, expect others to step up.

A tried and tested formula is to focus on proven links form. That can be found in past results from the Open Championship, Scottish Open, Dunhill Links and KLM Open - all annual features. So too is the Irish Open but it isn't always played on a links. This year's Portstewart venue certainly is and a useful guide may be the 2012 renewal, played at nearby Royal Portrush.


Back Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2u @ 160.0159/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 15.014/1
Place order to lay 15u @ 5.04/1

As usual in the strongest events, the presence of superstars at the head of market means our triple-figure price range involves some highly capable types who wouldn't normally cross our radar. Three-time European Tour and eight-time worldwide winner Aphibarnrat is precisely such a case. At 27, he's already achieved much and retains plenty of scope for improvement.

Despite limited experience of links golf, Kiradech can certainly play it, finishing fourth on his sole attempt at the Dunhill Links and winning the Paul Lawrie Matchplay in 2015 in Aberdeen. Recent form is solid enough, with top-15s at Wentworth and in the BMW, sixth in the Thailand Open and, back at the start of 2017, consecutive top-nines in world-class fields in the Gulf.



Back David Horsey 2u @ 250.0249/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 20.019/1
Place order to lay 15u @ 8.07/1

Again these are massive odds about an in-form, four-time European Tour winner. Horsey was runner-up on his penultimate start in Austria - his third top-eight in seven events. Granted, this field is much stronger, but the Englishman is perfectly capable of contending and trading a lot shorter at this level.

Horsey's links pedigree can be found in two events. He's finished top-20 in three of the last four Dunhill Links and top-nine in four KLM Opens. The latter - played at a short Dutch links - shows what he can do when length is not essential to contend. After checking the Portstewart card linked in Steve Rawlings' comprehensive tournament preview, I don't think it will be here either, with a far greater emphasis on positional play and short-game excellence.


Back Anthony Wall 2u @ 440.0439/1
Place order to lay 8u @ 50.049/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 20.019/1
Place order to lay 15u @ 5.04/1

While lacking the recent form credentials of the above pair, Wall is well worth considering at enormous odds given his links record. Indeed he similarly broke a forgettable run last year with victory at the Paul Lawrie Matchplay. Again, a shortish track improves his chance.

Wall has bags of links form. He's twice finished top-12 in an Open and top-five in the Dunhill Links. When 19th in the latter two years ago, he hit the lay target advised by this column. Furthermore, his Irish Open record is excellent - with the best of six top-15 finishes coming in 2012, when runner-up at nearby Portrush.

Finally a few words for some alternatives that made the shortlist. Paul Lawrie is recommended in our each-way column and Joe Dyer has also advised links specialist Kristoffer Broberg at insane odds of 300/1. Given his fine Open record - three top-13 finishes - and victory in the BMW, I'm surprised to see Andres Romero trading at 370.0369/1.

First reserve is Scott Jamieson at 330.0329/1. The Scot has shown bits and pieces of good form this summer, and has fared well in both the Scottish and KLM Opens. And if he had shown anything promising of late, Callum Shinkwin would have been given close consideration at 700.0699/1. 12 months ago, this star rookie was trading at a sixth of these odds for the Open.

2017 Profit/Loss

+79 units

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