Kaymer In The Frame For Alfred Dunhill
Established in 2001, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is one of the most lucrative tournaments on the European Tour.
The tournament is a celebration of links golf, played over three of the best courses in the world. With the FedEx Cup play-offs over, one or two of the big name Europeans have made themselves available, and despite the distraction of the celebrity pro-am element, this is always a fiercely contested event.
Three courses are played in rotation, with the top sixty golfers making it to the final round at St Andrews, so we’re ideally looking for proven links players, who’ve been able to adapt to this format in the past. The time of year also dictates that you should concentrate on those who’ve shown they can handle the worst of the Scottish weather, with torrential rain and howling sea gales a definite possibility.
In The Bunker
The last time we saw Branden Grace in competitive action, he was finishing third at the PGA Championship, his best performance to date in a Major. That was his second top five performance at a Major this year and he is likely to be popular with punters at St Andrews, where he won in 2012, but after seven weeks off he is entitled to be a little rusty and in a strong field, there is better value to be had elsewhere.
Double Major winner Martin Kaymer came close to picking up his first Tour title of the year in Italy a fortnight ago and he can make amends in Scotland this week.
He shared the lead going into the final day in Monza, and although he eventually lost out in a play-off to Rikard Karlberg, a continuation of the form he showed on the first three days will make him hard to beat at St Andrews, where he has managed three top-ten finishes in seven attempts, including his victory in 2010.
Danny Willett has enjoyed a great season so far, bagging two European Tour titles and his first top-ten finish in a Major, and he heads to St Andrews in solid form, after a final round charge saw him finish just behind Kaymer in a tie for third at Monza. He has twice made the top five in this event and looks a good bet at 20/1.
The final name to add to your shortlist is Matthew Fitzpatrick. The young Englishman is experiencing his first full season on the European Tour and has hit form in recent weeks, securing three top three finishes in his last six tournaments, including a share of third place in Italy after a final round 65. This is his first crack at this tournament, but he has bags of potential and is playing without fear.
Back him at 33/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication.