Golfer Shane Lowry favourite to win this week's Irish Open

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

golf Shane Lowry Irish Open

Shane Lowry is the bookies' favourite to win this week's Irish Open

It's fair to say Northern Ireland has been a happy hunting ground for Shane Lowry considering the last time he played there competitively, he walked away with the Claret Jug in the Open.

He returns to Northern Irish soil this week and will tee off at Galgorm Castle as the bookies' favourite to win the Irish Open for the second time in his career.

He previously took the title as an amateur back in 2009 at a wet and windy Baltray in Co Louth. He'll be hoping for better conditions but a similar result in Ballymena this week.

The tournament has been moved from Mount Juliet to Galgorm Castle and the Offaly man flies in off the back of making the cut at last week's US Open at Winged Foot, although he did finish well down the field in New York.

BoyleSports have cut Lowry into the 8/1 favourite from 10/1 for the event beginning on Thursday, giving him a comfortable lead ahead of South African George Coetzee (11/1) at the top of the market.

The likelihood of an Irish winner this year has also been trimmed into 9/2 from 5/1. Another former home winner Padraig Harrington is a 66/1 shot.

The Ryder Cup captain is attracting some early each-way interest with BoyleSports paying each-way backers down to eight places.

Lawrence Lyons, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “Shane Lowry is coming off a tough week in New York but there’s plenty of confidence out there that he’ll be a bit more at home this week. He may go off an even stronger favourite if trends continue after already being clipped into 8/1 from 10/1."