Golf lowdowns: Shane Lowry and Séamus Power paired together at FedEx Cup event

Rory McIlroy also in action in Delaware with a purse of €14.75 million and a place at the Tour Championship at stake

Purse: €14.75 million (€2.7m to the winner).

Where: Wilmington, Delaware, USA.

The course: The South Course at Wilmington Country Club — 7,534 yards Par 71 — was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr in 1959 but underwent upgrading and necessary renovation under Andrew Green in 2021 after a tornado ripped through the area in August 2020 and caused severe damage. In just five minutes, 300 trees were uprooted, including a 250 year old Oak which enabled Green to moved the 14th green back by 60 yards. The back nine features two Par 5 holes in excess of 600 yards, the 12th (634 yards) and 14th (649 yards).

The field: Cameron Smith, the Open champion and world number two, has withdrawn from the field citing a hip injury for a tournament that will feature just 68 players — with no cut — in what is the penultimate event of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Will Zalatoris, on the back of his breakthrough tour win last week in the St Jude Championship, holds the number one spot on the FedEx Cup standings. Scottie Scheffler, the world number one, and Rory McIlroy are among those looking to bounce back after suffering missed cuts in Memphis. The leading 30 players after this tournament progress on to the Tour Championship in East Lake, Atlanta, where a $18 million pay-day awaits the winner.


Quote-Unquote: “My goal is to finish as high as possible on the leader board. I play to win; and, if not, I’m going to try to finish second; and, if not, third; and so on. I mean, 30th is better than 31st. simple as that, right? My mindset doesn’t really change. I know the consequences could be greater if going into next week if you miss a shot or not, but you can’t be down the stretch thinking” — Jon Rahm.

Irish in the field: Shane Lowry and Séamus Power are in the pairing for the first round (off the first tee at 3.25pm Irish time); Rory McIlroy is playing alongside Sepp Straka (off the first at 7.30pm).

Betting: A new tour stop for one and all, so no previous course knowledge to factor in: Rory McIlroy is the 10/1 favourite with Jon Rahm priced at 12/1 but better value can be found elsewhere, with last week’s winner Will Zalatoris rated a 16/1 shot and recent breakthrough winner Joo-hyung (Tom) Kim at 33/1. Davis Riley looks decent each-way value at 66s.

On TV: On Sky Sports Golf live from 5pm (red button from 3pm).

D+D Real Czech Masters lowdown

Purse: €1.75 million (€295,000 to the winner).

Where: Prague, Czech Republic.

The course: The Albatross Golf Resort — 7,468 yards Par 72 — was designed by architect Keith Preston and features two loops of nine holes, each finishing with water featured holes: the Par 5 ninth measures 639 yards, while the 18th is a Par 4 of 403 which requires strategic play. There are a large number of water hazards and the previous bunkering complexes were reduced in number last year under Jonathan Davison who instead increased the visibility of the new structures.

The field: If we’re entirely honest, it is put in the ha’penny place when compared to the BMW across the Atlantic. There are 50 world ranking points on offer to the winner in Delaware, just 10 to whoever triumphs in Prague. Still, Thomas Pieters, the world number 35, headlines a field at a venue where he is a two-time winner. Ian Poulter, with no LIV commitments, is also playing.

Quote-Unquote: “It’s the first time I’ve been back (since winning in 2019). I really enjoy the course and look forward to playing it. I’ve been thinking about it the last two weeks about some of the lines over bunkers, doing a lot of work at home with my coach. I feel ready and refreshed” — Thomas Pieters.

Irish in the field: Cormac Sharvin, Paul Dunne, Gavin Moynihan, David Carey and Michael Young make up the quintet of Irish players competing.

Betting: Course specialist Thomas Pieters is a strong market leader at 7/1 with Victor Perez next at 14/1 and Richard Mansell rated an 18/1 shot ... Sean Crocker is worth a look at 22/1, while Renato Paratore looks decent each-way at 40/1.

On TV: Sky Sports Golf (Live from noon).

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times