Irish Open: Wilson to lead early at Lahinch

England's Oliver Wilson
England's Oliver Wilson can hit the ground running in Ireland

Dave Tindall makes a case for a trio of players to go well in round one of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch GC...

"In back-to-back years at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, he opened with a round of 64, the latter effort paving the way for victory in 2014. On both occasions, he was the first-round leader."

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places

Weather forecast for Lahinch: There's hardly a jot of wind for the first few hours (6am - 9am) and it's fairly calm for the rest of the morning. It does pick up in the afternoon to a steady 10mph and perhaps more. Temperatures start at around 50 degrees and peak in the early 60s late in the afternoon. It's a mix of sunshine and cloud throughout.

Strategy: Those flat-calm conditions at the start mean I'm going to put my eggs in one basket and go for a trio of early tee-times.

Oliver to open fast

Oliver Wilson knows how to start fast on the links.

In back-to-back years at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, he opened with a round of 64, the latter effort paving the way for victory in 2014.

On both occasions, he was the first-round leader.

Also runner-up in that event in 2009, Wilson was quick out of the blocks in that year's Irish Open, sitting third after day one.

Interestingly, quick starts have become a habit of late too, his last four openers reading 69, 67, 67 and 68.

The second of those put him second after 18 holes of the BMW International Open while he was in the top 12 at close of play on Thursday in two of the others.

Wilson has quietly accumulated five top 10s this season so, after some years in the wilderness, he's playing some fine golf again and he won the second tier's Irish Challenge on his last visit to the country in October.

He tees off at 07:55 in a nice group alongside fellow Englishmen Paul Waring and Jordan Smith so hopefully he can cash in on the calm weather.

Go for Green

My other two picks are a little more speculative but their big prices looked tempting.

Firstly, I'll take the 130/1 about youngster Gavin Green.

He could be Irish with a name like that but the Malaysian might be able to induce a few roars from the locals anyway with an early birdie barrage.

Green, who plays in the second group out at 06:55, is in excellent form at the moment, finishing T8 at Valderrama and T5 in the Belgian Knockout.

Wind back a little further and he was T19 in the China Open and T15 in the British Masters on the links at Hillside.

In his last two starts, Green was second after the opening lap at Valderrama and sixth through the first 18 holes at the BMW International Open in Germany.

Last year, he was the first-round leader in the Czech Masters and the Belgian Knockout so he has a proven record of flying out of the gate.

As well as his top 15 at Hillside, Green was T19 in last year's Scottish Open so he can handle himself on a links course.

Overall, he looks too big at 130/1.

Count on Kawamura

Masahiro Kawamura plays in the fifth group out on Thursday morning at 07:55.

The Japanese star had a run of four straight top 20s on the European Tour across March and April, the latter two a second place in the Indian Open and a sixth in Morocco.

He was seventh after day one in India and occupied that same position after Thursday's play at Valderrama last week.

Also third after a 65 in round one of the Mauritius Open at the start of this campaign, Kawamura flashed a little bit of form on the links when shooting a second-round 67 in last summer's Open.

Finally, he ranks 33rd in birdies this season (Green is 27th) which suggests he can make the most of the good scoring conditions.

It's a bit of a punt this one but 130s is overpriced.

Dave's 2019 R1 leader P/L (based on £5 ew per selection)

Staked: £750
Returned: £1004.59
P/L: +£254.59

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