Rory McIlroy is not just the +600 golf betting favorite to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open; he is also the defending champion as well as the host, though his Rory Foundation. Talk about wearing many hats. Wee Mac defeated Bradley Dredge and Russel Knox by three strokes in 2016 to win the tourney in his second year of sponsorship; he had previously finished 7th in 2008, and T10 in 2012 (when it was known as the 3 Irish Open). McIlroy had his second best finish in the Masters this year (T7) but missed the cut for the second straight year in the US Open, prompting 1995 PGA Championship winner Steve Elkington to accuse him of being “bored with golf.” However, people who bet on golf expect him to be the Host with the Most at Portstewart Golf Club on July 6th-9th.
Among Wee Mac’s guests will be…
Hideki Matsuyama (+900)
The Japanese golfer is the man of the hour after his runner-up finish in the US Open (his best result ever in a major tournament) allowed him to evict the aforementioned McIlroy from the No. 2 spot of the World Ranking and move in himself – the highest ever ranking for a Nippon player. Matsuyama had been flying under the radar since winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open but golf betting powerhouses McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Jason Day all missing the cut in Erin Hills certainly created a vacuum that the former Asian Amateur Champion did not hesitate to fill. This will be Matsuyama’s first Irish Open.
Jon Rahm (+1600)
The Spaniard missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament and the US Open but bounced back with a T10 finish in the Open de France, his second top 10 finish of the year. Additionally, Rahm has six top 5 finishes in 2017, including a win at the Farmers Insurance Open. This will be the first Irish Open for the World No. 11.
Justin Rose (+1600)
Rose was the 2017 Masters runner-up but missed the cut in the US Open for the second straight year. Rose has nine wins on the European Tour.
Tommy Fleetwood (+1600)
The Sandgrounder is having a breakthrough year as well – not quite like Matsuyama pretty close; Fleetwood defeated none other than Dustin Johnson to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, finished 2nd behind DJ in the WGC – Mexico Championship, also placed second at the Shenzhen International, had his best finish in the US Open or any major tourney (4th), and just won the Open de France for his third European Tour win. Fleetwood’s best finish in the Irish Open was a T21 in 2015, but people who bet on golf hope he will be able to parlay his recent success into a win at Portstewart.
Rafa Cabrera Bello +2800
RCB is more of a golf betting long shot. He did finish second at the Irish Open once, but that was in 2012 – the same year that he recorded his second and hitherto last European Tour win.