The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship | Thursday 01 October - Sunday 04 October | St Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns
Last week all eyes were on the Tour Championship and as expected golf fans were treated to an entertaining four days of golf. This week things are a bit quieter and there are no PGA Tour events but fortunately the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship makes up for that.
This event, which is hosted by three of the most celebrated links courses in Europe, is always one to keep an eye on and never disappoints. As usual, the tournament has attracted a strong field and promises to be hotly contested and the question everyone’s asking is who will walk away victorious after what will be four tough days of golf. Hosted across three courses, this is a difficult one to assess in one sense but thankfully all three courses reward the same type of play. Players who fare well on links layouts obviously stand out and it’s tough to see anyone without that pedigree going all the way this week. Keeping the ball on the fairway will be vital as the thick fescue lies waiting to punish wayward shots, as do the numerous pot bunkers which can be found scattered across all of the courses. Ending up in those at some stage is inevitable so keep an eye on those who are strong out of the sand. The greens will hopefully be a bit easier to read at this time of year but getting it close to the pin will go a long way in ensuring birdies are made and in this event, that is key. Finally, keeping it together in the circus-like environment is a must. It’s easy to get swept up in the action and distracted by the celebrities but a degree of focus is needed.
|WIN the Ultimate Fan Trip to watch Liverpool play Man United LIVE at Anfield! |
To Win Outright
Brooks Koepka 16/1
Martin Kaymer 16/1
Branden Grace 18/1
Shane Lowry 22/1
Danny Willett 25/1
Paul Lawrie (70/1 a win, 14/1 a place)
In any event hosted on this kind of layout it’s worth backing Lawrie and this week is no different as he’s shown this season that he still has what it takes to mix it up with the younger crowd. A previous winner of the Open, Lawrie is no stranger to high pressure situations and he’s been around for long enough to avoid getting sucked into the excitement which this event generates. Sure, he’s a bit long in the tooth but his accurate iron play will be rewarded on all three of these courses. At this price Lawrie looks like he’s worth an each way bet.
Eddie Pepperell (50/1 a win, 10/1 a place)
Pepperell has been tough to ignore for the past few months and has been a regular feature in this column and this week I’m having another dip on the talented youngster. He’s another player who loves these links courses and has shown that he has what it takes to go close on Sunday. Although he played some shoddy golf here this time last year I’m hoping that was a one-off and that he comes out and gets that win he so desperately deserves. At the moment his game is pretty much flawless, I have a feeling he’ll come out firing this week. Each way is the bet for me.
Shane Lowry (22/1 a win, 44/10 a place)
Shane Lowry can’t be ignored in this event and although he hasn’t shot the lights out this season he has shown the flashes of brilliance that made him a household name two seasons ago. Experience is key in these marquee events and Lowry arrives here with a ton of that, having participated in this for the last couple of years. He came close to winning in 2013 when he came third and was almost as good last year when he finished sixth. I’m expecting more of the same this time around and can’t ignore Lowry at this price.
Branden Grace (18/1 a win, 36/10 a place)
We haven’t seen enough wins by the South African contingent this season but Grace has been a shining light, managing two victories thus far. Things are drawing to a close now and Grace will be well aware of that and looking to repeat the performance he put in three years ago when he won here. He’s a bit of a links specialist and is always one to keep an eye on when the pressure is on. I’m getting patriotic and backing him each way this week. I’m almost certain he won’t disappoint.