The K Club in the South Of Ireland takes centre stage after a long break from the tour schedule. 2005 was the last time this venue held the European Open and of course who will forget Darren Clarke's emotional scenes a year later when the European side trounced the yanks in the Ryder Cup. The Palmer course at the K Club has had time to mature since then and no doubt we are in store for a cracking tournament with a top class field.

Looking back at the history of the European Open while it was held here there are plenty of things to digest. The main thing being is that this course always brought the cream of the game to the top. Langer (Masters winner), Clarke (Open winner), Michael Campbell (US Open winner) all won here at the K Club in the 90s and 00s. Taking a look at who competed throws up the same info. Constantino Rocca who played with Woods in the final group of the 97 Masters contended here almost every single year. He also has a runner up finish at the Open. Harrington (Triple major winner) has a couple of places to his name here. As does Olazabal and Goosen who are both double majors winners also. Thomas Bjorn and Lee Westwood (twice winner here) are no stranger to pressure in major championships either. Without doubt this course lends itself to the best in the game, and this week it may be hard to shift the main protagonists.

So let's take a look at the protagonists. McIlroy comes here badly in need of a win. It is slowly becoming an issue. Just one win in the last twelve months is not a good enough return for somebody who would consider himself the most talented golfer in the world. Question marks now surround whether he actually would be the best in the world alongside an in form Jason Day. With each on their day I'd side with Jason Day. He is a phenomenal superpower now in the world of golf and is on a winning streak akin to Tiger in his pomp. Rory has yet to show that courage or dare I say desire to go on such a run. The K Club may just be the scene where Rory can put on a special show. With plenty on his plate with the Rory foundation sponsoring events this week I feel the 4/1 on offer is a shade on the thin side. I do think this holds a better opportunity to win than recent weeks though.

Recent Masters champ Danny Willett shows up here and with little golf since his Masters win will be up against it. He may be fatigued also, although the tree lined nature of the Palmer course may just play into his hands. I see a bit more value further down the field however. offer Acca Insurance on 2 or 3 ball accas (with 4 or more selections) by refunding your stake if just one lets you down!

For our main bets this week in this event I'll be looking to the classy golfers as I stated above. First up and slipping way under the radar of the bookies this week is Joost Luiten. His recent form reads 5-5-13-8-15-6-CUT-2-2-44. That means he is without doubt one of the form players teeing it up here this week. A second spot at a top venue Valderrama will give him confidence heading to another this week. If we are looking at the classy golfers who won't look out of place on the roll of honour I mentioned above then Joost is certainly high up the list. I expected 25/1 max on this lad this week so the top price of 35/1 is of high interest to me. In a Ryder Cup year where many are looking to cement their place in the team I reckon the Dutchman will be highly motivated. A value price that we must stake reasonably heavy.
J.Luiten - 3pts e/w @ 35/1Lost -6pts
A new wave of European stars are beginning to develop and we've already backed one. Our next three bets all fall under that same bracket in the shape of Cabrera-Bello, Wiesberger and Fitzpatrick. Bello missed the cut at Sawgrass last week but we can easily put a line through that as a premium on accuracy and not length is the name of the game around there. Previous to that he had posted four top 5s and three top 20s in last 8 starts. It has been evident that he has put in some major work on his short game. It has improved tremendously and with this being the only facet of his game that needed real improvement I fully expect him to notch a win on the European Tour before the end of the season. With poorer than average weather forecast I do believe the longer hitters will be suited to this test. Bello sits at a fair price and we'll have another decent wager.
R.Cabrera-Bello - 1.75pts e/w @ 33/1Lost -3.5pts
Along the same lines Bernd Wiesberger is an improving sort and although he still needs a fair bit of improvement in his short game he still holds every chance this week. He made the cut at Sawgrass last week and that can be viewed as a success. He is becoming a consistent sort with only two missed cuts (at tough stateside venues) in his last 18 events. I don't put too much weight on this but he does seem to like the Summer months of golf. Two of his three wins on tour in France and Austria have come in late June and early July. He comes back to Ireland after last years playoff defeat to Soren Kjeldsen therefore there should be a few positive vibes. Most of all the venue should suit. He will be able to open his shoulders and rip some drives away, whether he makes enough putts is the question. Either way, 40/1 for a very talented European golfer on this stage is very fair.
B.Wiesberger - 1.25pts e/w @ 40/1Lost -2.5pts
Our final one in this trio is Matt Fitzpatrick. Everybody knows how much of a fan I am of this lads golf. I believe he is destined for the top, and a future major winner is well within his reach. Personally I feel his recent voyages to the States have been a shade premature. Alex Ferguson was always one for wrapping a talented kid up in a blanket and bed him in with plenty of experience before taking on the big games. I feel Fitzpatrick has tried to run before he could walk after his British Masters victory. Considering Danny Willett has been on the scene for a long time now and only recently been able to compete at the top level in the States. Saying that. Matt showed his class with a 7th placed finish at Augusta. That's just a sign of what he can achieve. A couple of months back in Europe is just what he needs and I believe the K Club may hold opportunities for him. Sawgrass is a tough school and he only missed the cut by a shot and there have been signs he is coming back to form after a recent blip. At the turn of the year in the Far East and a few events in the States it was clear his putter wasn't as hot as what it normally can be. He is gaining confidence with that stick though. I fully expect Fitzpatrick to be named among the elite I mentioned who have played well here down the years. This could be the time he springs back into action.
M.Fitzpatrick - 1pt e/w @ 50/1Lost -2pts
Finally we'll have a smaller bet on the young South African Brandon Stone. He looks like the next big South African powerhouse and all parts of his game are quite impressive right now. He got off the mark in the BMW South African Open in January and I expect him to kick on to greater things in the years to come. He has finished 10th, 2nd and 6th in three of his last four events so is clearly enjoying his breakthrough year. Just how good this lad can be is a question I just can't answer it, and maybe a tournament like this is a bit beyond his reach just yet, but South Africans are known for their top class temperament under pressure and if Stone can get off to a decent start the 66/1 on offer may look good come the weekend.
B.Stone - 0.75pts e/w @ 66/1Lost -1.5pts