Lowdown: ISPS Handa World Invitational

Galgorm Castle and Massereene host two tournaments within one

Jonathan Caldwell:  the winner of the Scandinavian Mixed earlier this season  heads the home challenge in the ISPS Handa World Invitational. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Jonathan Caldwell: the winner of the Scandinavian Mixed earlier this season heads the home challenge in the ISPS Handa World Invitational. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

 

ISPS Handa World Invitational

Purse: €1.27 million (men)/€1.27 million (women)

Where: Ballymena, Northern Ireland

The courses: Galgorm Castle and Massereene golf clubs are used for the two opening rounds – with players playing both – before the 36-hole cut is followed by a second cut after the third round.

Galgorm Castle is one of the premier parkland courses in the North – designed by Simon Gidman – and opened for play in 1997. It also played host to last year’s Irish Open, won by American John Catlin.

The field: Two tournaments – one men’s, part of the European Tour; one women’s, co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and the LET – within one with equal purses and prizemoney on offer.

There are 144 men and 144 women competing in the 72-hole strokeplay event: Jeongeun Lee6, the world number 14 and runner-up in the Evian last week, didn’t manage to get a place on the South Korean Olympic team and is the headline act in a field that also includes Georgia Hall, winner of the 2018 British Women’s Open, and fellow Solheim Cup player Charley Hull.

The men’s field is headed by Andy Sullivan, the world number 85, while .

Quote-Unquote: “This is my LPGA debut playing at home and I know there’s a little bit of pressure but I just want to enjoy this week, playing in front of family, friends . . . . I don’t have any expectations. As amazing as it would be to think about winning, that’s not at all in my head right now, it’s just shot by shot and taking it in, gaining as much experience as I can and enjoying this week” – Olivia Mehaffey, who is playing on a sponsor’s invite after her recent move into the professional ranks.

Irish in the field: 23 in the men’s; two in the women’s.

Betting: Two separate markets are obviously in play: Andy Sullivan is the 10/1 favourite for the men’s tournament with Justin Harding at 11/1 but there could be better value further down with Jack Senior, a past winner of a Challenge Tour event at Galgorm, available at 40/1 while Jonathan Caldwell is keenly priced at 50/1; in the women’s tournament, Lee6 is the 8/1 joint favourite with Atthaya Thitikul . . . . again, there is some decent value further down with Lizette Salas on offer at 16/1 and Alice Hewson an each way prospect at 90/1.

On TV: Live on Sky Sports Golf (from 2pm).

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