Re-Cap DDF Irish Open
Well the Irish Open and its elite field didn't disappoint other than of course the supposed main attraction 'Rory!', Anyway the venue was incredible, the scoring sensational and the perfect start to the seasons links golf series. Like many I'm sure I thoroughly enjoyed watching Jon Rahm rip apart the course and find that winners form that had eluded him in recent weeks. Aside from that awesome performance, I also massively enjoyed watching modern day golf being played on its most traditional style of course. As you can expect from a links course, it threw up plenty of variation and opportunity to the imaginatively minded and gifted player, rewarded those that were patient and punished those that were complacent.
As for last weeks picks, there was a real mixed bag.
Obviously very pleased I managed to pick your winner in Jon Rahm and even more pleased to have picked out 2nd place in Matt Southgate, who only cost $6,900 in the draft and had an ownership less than 0.6%.
On the flip side unfortunately I had way too many miss the cut, which I of course I apologise for and hope it didn't impact any of you too tragically.
From what I can gather everyone struggled in this department, I believe only 3% of LU's managed to get 6/6 through to the weekend.
Personally all of my Lu's only had 5/6 complete play, this was enough however for all to make a profit, nothing amazing but enough to see me double up and take a little extra in to the next contests.
With The Open fast approaching us, my schedule seems to be getting busier and busier. Although I'm already massively ahead of myself, researching for Birkdale there is still loads of work to do and I am very keen to keep my finger on the pulse in hope I find us those little advantages that could make all the difference, especially in the 'Milli Maker'.
So if time allows and I can find the energy to endure the 10 hours of driving, I want to venture off to The Open venue for one of the practice days and report back live from the range and course just like I did at Wentworth.
In other stuff, somehow and somewhere within the next couple of weeks I will be cramming in as much practice and game time as I can. The day after the 'champion golfer of the year is announced, I have the joys of competing in a PGA playing ability test... 36 holes in one day, designed to determine if I meet there standards to become a member and start their university degree.... Hopefully I play well and its nothing more than a very long walk in the park, but just like any time I have a card in hand I can't take anything for granted and plan to work doubly hard in order to impress the powers that be.
In more other stuff. As you may already know by now I have kindly been asked by David and Pat to make my debut appearance on the Pod. No hiding behind my keyboard this time!!! Lets just hope I don't pull a sleepy Pat when chatting golf at 2am my time.
European Tour - Other Stuff.
The European Tour are giving us something a little extra for us to enjoy other than regular tournament play. The Hero Challenge will be run again and in fact I'm watching the end of it as I type this. A hugely popular Pro and Celeb one hole knock out warm up contest, squeezed into an hours worth of broadcating. Really good bit of fun, all in aid of a good cause and a chance to see the more relaxed side of the players. If you haven't had the chance, might be worth a watch. No doubt there will be plenty of re-runs available for you and although you may not know many or any of the celebrities, I promise you will know the players.
Originally known as Southern Gailes, the Kyle Philip’s-designed golf course was purchased by Loch Lomond Golf Club in early 2003 to provide its global Membership with a traditional links challenge.
The name was changed to Dundonald Links to reflect the area’s rich history. Dundonald means ‘Fort Donald’ and fortifications have been discovered nearby dated to between 500 and 200 BC.
More recently, in the early 1900s, there was a golf course on the site of the current links, however, it was converted for military use during World War II and lay dormant until the beginning of the 21st century.
It didn't take long for the golfing world to take notice of this masterpiece. As early as 2008, Dundonald was chosen as the venue for the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School and it continued to host this important tournaments and then others as important in there own right ever since.
It will be the first time this course will of hosted anything of this size or grandeur, this only speaks volumes about its potential to offer something special, especially when you consider the abundance of incredible courses it could be hosted at.
Classic Ayrshire Links in immaculate, manicured condition, blended perfectly within its natural environment.
Measuring 7,100 yards, a par of 72 and your typical layout with 4 par 5's on offer. Open to the elements and far more suited to the ball striker than the slogger in usual conditions.
Key Stats and Strategy.
As always with this style of course nature will be its greatest defence and being smart about what half of the draw to pick from could be the biggest influencing factor to consider... no point me looking right now and offering this with my picks as winds and general playing conditions can change within a heartbeat
As always form , confidence and course fit will weight heavily and I will be considering aspects like ball flight control, good short game skills and impeccable course management abilities when making my selections.
Ricky Fowler $11,400 - I probably wont play a lot or Ricky as most of my line ups will be more balanced, but of the choice of 3 at this top end he is by far my favourite pick. In unreal form and closing in on a much needed win.
$9,000 - $10,000
Henrik Stenson $9,900 - Solid performance in Germany even though he still wasn't firing on all cylinders. Its about this time of year we start to see the very best of the ice man, he would of been working hard and prepping well for links golf so I'm expecting good things to start here.
Patrick Reed $9,700 - Love the way he plays and the very solid recent form, has the attributes to perform well here. I'm looking for a comfortable top 10 placing and plenty of birdie or better scoring.
Ross Fisher $9,400 - An abundance of experience on Links courses, with a game suited to success, his form has been impressive and always seems to be featuring on the leader board in regular tournament play events.
$8,000 - $9,000
Andy Sullivan $8,700 - Starting to look very comfortable with his game, has the skill set to play well here and score well in your cash line ups.
Peter Uihlein $8,300 - Can he continue with more impressive golf? Going to be highly owned, but like everyone else I would much rather have him in a line up or two just in case he scores bigand places well. If conditions work to his favour there could be loads of chances on offer and right now the putters heating up.
Richie Ramsay $8,000 - Loves his links golf and showed us why with a T2 placing last week, in a good place right now and playing in front of home fans. Like all proud Scots he will want to do well and I can assure you a lot of pride and effort will go in to his game to ensure he performs.
There's one player here I am very interested to see how he plays, I would normally fade him due to recent form and mental state of mind and that Tyrell Hatton.$8,500. However I'm going to play him a little in gpp, he's usually so impressive on links courses and I'm hoping a good build up to the tournament has sparked confidence and enjoyment in his game.
$7,000 - $8,000
Hao-Tong Li $7,800 - I'm convinced he's close to finding a game that will pick him up a win, might be tough in a field as strong as this but should be a solid pick to make the cut and maybe scrape a top 10.
Byeong -Hun An $7,400 - Playing the odds is sometimes just the right play, with 15/16 made cuts those odd surely have to be in favour of another to add to the list. Only concern might be transition of style of course, then again fresh eyes often pay more attention and focus that little harder.
Mike Lorenzo Vera $7,100 - T3 in France, superb ball striker and very imaginative when shot shaping and ball flight controls required. Has 2 more top tens to add to his list and no reason why he's not capable of adding another here.
Pablo Larrazabal $7,000 - Played some very nice golf but narrowly missed the cut last week. Lady luck just wasn't with him on the Friday both on and off the course. Will want to put things right and continue to build form for Birkdale, another point scorer when hot, especially Eagle performance.
$7,000 or less
Ian Poulter $6,700 - Little surprised to see Poulter available at this price, ok results haven't been amazing but he is still making cuts and therefor in the mix, his game could spark at any moment and if in contention has the experience to see out the task ahead.
Matthew Southgate $6,700 - I have to roll with Matt again, in exceptional form, full of confidence after a win at final Open qualifying and T2 in the Irish Open. He's a bit of a links course master, highlighted with his last 90 holes scoring 24 under par.
Benjamin Hebert $6,800,- Swinging and playing freely again, was in contention in Ireland but faded away into T8 with a 72 on the Sunday. Has already picked up 3 top 10's this year so value for money if he can do it again would be lovely.
Ryan Fox $6,700 - This is a late edition to the write up and so pleased one of our readers reminded me to get him in. Ryan has been in superb form, his last 5 starts have seen him inside the top 26 and his last 2 starts have earned him 6th and 4th. Can be a scoring machine when hot and right now he's on fire.
Jordan Smith $6,500 - Very comfortable adapting his game to suit links play, when in form has the game to contend and at this price represents exceptional value. Should make the cut with ease so would even be happy to play in cash if needs be.
Scott Jamieson $6,400 -Finished T14 in The Irish Open. played some very impressive golf at points and well equipped if conditions get a little tougher, playing in front of home fans so got to be worth a punt for a passionate performance.
As always feel free to get those questions across to me @AshleyMorrisson, and be sure to download next weeks Podcast for my picks for The Open.