The Italian Open was in danger of becoming a non-event once upon a time, but its rescheduling as part of the new Rolex Series has breathed new life into the event in more ways than one. Not only has the prize money purse at this at Golf Club Milano staged event seen a large increase, but is has also attracted a superior field, headed by World Number 5 John Rahm. Meanwhile, fellow top-20 players Sergio Garcia, Alex Noren, Tommy Fleetwood and Rafa Cabrero-Bello are also here, along with home favourite and two-time Italian Open winner Francesco Molinari.
Whether a tree-lined par-71 measuring just under 7,200 yards is a perfect fit for John Rahm is open to debate but, whilst there’s no doubting the Spaniard’s ability to make enough birdies to win this usually low-scoring affair, 7/1 looks on the short side for me.
Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia looks to have settled for winning the Masters this year, Francesco Molinari hasn’t been playing much of late, and Tyrell Hatton will surely have been heavily celebrating becoming the first player to win back-to-back Dunhill Links titles.
Therefore, the one player at the head of the market I fancy having on my side this week in Matt Fitzpatrick, and there’s no doubting the course suits him ideally after some decent performances here already in finishing 3rd and 16th. He also has a habit of getting across the line when he gets a chance.
Meanwhile, Ross Fisher finished in the Dunhill Links with such a spectacular round that he can only draw confidence from his course record 61 at St Andrews coming into this week. He also finished 7th here in 2014, and looks set for a big Autumn with plenty at stake as he tries to amass enough points to give him chance of a second appearance in the Ryder Cup.
Romain Wattel is another who has gone well here in the past, with finishes of 11/10/38 in the last 3 years, and he comes here in the form of his life after winning the Dutch Open, and following that with 15th last week.
Joakim Lagergren is another with course form and current form, as he’s finished 3rd and 20th on his last 2 visits, whilst two top-12’s in his last 3 events could easily see him hit the places at decent odds this week.
Finally, a decent field sees Richie Ramsay priced-up at decent odds this week, and the Scot could easily replicate his fourth here in 2014, after showing plenty of decent form in the last few weeks.
Irish Open Golf Tips
Matthew Fitzpatrick 2 Points Each-Way @ 19/1 ComeOn
Ross Fisher 1 Point Each-Way @ 29/1 ComeOn
Joakim Lagergren 1 Point Each-Way @ 68/1 ComeOn
Romain Wattel 1 Point Each-Way @ 70/1 ComeOn
Richie Ramsay 1 Point Each-Way @ 70/1 ComeOn