Irish Open: Five sleeper picks to steal the show at Portstewart

Peter Uihlein of United States of America. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Peter Uihlein of United States of America. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) /
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Irish Open
Shane Lowry of Ireland. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) /

Shane Lowry: OWGR – 73, Odds to Win – 35/1

Shane Lowry won the 2009 Irish Open playing as an amateur and despite a missed cut last week at the Open de France he’ll be a force to be reckoned with this year at Portstewart.

Lowry notched his first European Tour win playing as a pro at the 2012 Portugal Masters and his first PGA TOUR win at the 2015 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Notably, Lowry finished runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open. He’s become a seasoned competitor since that spectacular 2009 victory.

This will be Lowry’s eighth Irish Open start and his record ranges wildly from his 2009 win to missed cuts in 2011 and 2014. Lowry’s a man who can and does play well in inclement and difficult weather conditions so he’s not going to be put off balance by variable wind and rain conditions. He’s also a power player off the tee and although he can be a bit erratic with his wedges, once he’s on the putting surface Lowry can hold his position quite nicely.

This is Shane Lowry’s national open as much as it is Rory McIlroy’s and Paul Dunne’s. Look for him to play with vigor and enthusiasm and deliver the best game he’s carrying in his bag. Will it be good enough to outplay McIlroy and Rose and Fleetwood? Under the right conditions, Lowery can and will contend.