Irish Open In-Play Tips – Hot Herbert outshines rusty Rory

22:00 – July 1, 2021

Australia’s Lucas Herbert kicked off the Irish Open somewhat inauspiciously. Playing in a two-ball alongside Laurie Canter, and starting at the 10th hole at 7:40 this morning, he was on level-par through five holes but he caught fire after that, birdying eight of his last 13 holes to post an eight-under-par 64 that nobody else could match.

This is the fourth time he’s led after the opening round but only the second time he’s done so on the European Tour. On the two occasions that he’s ended the first round in front in his homeland, he’s fallen away thereafter, finishing 20th at the Australian Open in 2016, and a very off-putting 64th in the Australian PGA Championship in 2019 but he very nearly won the Portugal Masters in 2018 after he’d led after rounds one, two and three and traded at just 1.374/11 with two holes to play.

Herbert got off the mark on the European Tour when he beat Christian Bezuidenhout in a playoff at the Dubai Desert Classic last year so he knows how to get the job done and he’s a fair price at 9.08/1.

Huge outsiders, Johannes Veerman, who sits second and one shot back, and Grant Forrest, two adrift in third, are both looking for their first victories on the European Tour and the big dangers to the leader are further back.

There are 15 players tied for fourth and three off Herbert’s lead and 18 players tied for 19th and four back so it’s clearly wide open but the pre-event favourite, Rory McIlroy isn’t one of them…

Playing in the afternoon, Rory started really slowly, making the turn in two-over-par and having been matched at as low as 5.14/1 before the off, he was matched at a high of 40.039/1 before he rallied, picking up a couple of strokes on the back nine, but trailing the leader by eight, in what’s clearly going to be a low-scoring birdie-fest, he’s really up against it.

Rory described today as “one of those days”, adding “I was stuck in neutral most of the day” and he put it down to rust. He admitted to spending plenty of time with the family in the build up to the event and he went straight to the range after his media obligations.

He’s off early in the morning and he’s more than capable of putting in a big charge but having backed him at 6.86/1 before the off, I’m in no rush to go in again at 22.021/1.

Over on the PGA Tour, inclement weather caused a delay at the Rocket Mortgage Classic (previewed here) but they’re back out playing and it’s live on Sky. I’ll take a look at the state of play there in the morning.

Irish Open Pre-Event Selection:
Rory McIlroy @ 6.86/1

Rocket Mortgage Classic Pre-Event Selections:
Kevin Kisner @ 55.054/1 (added after preview published)
Doc Redman @ 80.079/1

Find Me a 100 Winner Selections:
Irish Open
Back 2 u Richard Bland @ 130.0129/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
Rocket Mortgage Classic
Back 2 u Chris Kirk @ 130.0129/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.35/4
Back 1u Chesson Hadley @ 280.0279/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.35/4
1u each-way @ 200/1 Sportsbook

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter