European Tour: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Golfer admires shot with wood in hand

We preview this week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship to be played on three courses at St. Andrews from 6 October - 9 October. 

One of the most lucrative stops on the European Tour, The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is one of those events that proves quite divisive on tour. The Pro-Am format- duplicated directly from the outline of the US PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am- involves the leading professionals teaming up with prestigious amateurs.

Some players love the added glitz and glamour afforded by the presence of celebrities, while other more prudent members find the idea of playing a seven hour round with Shane Warne slightly less palatable. Nonetheless, it certainly makes for one of the most entertaining events for the viewer, with three beautiful links courses covered.

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship | 6 October - 9 October | St Andrews, Scotland

The players alternate over Kingsbarnes, Carnoustie and the Old Course at St Andrews for the first three rounds. The 54 hole cut will see the leading 60 professionals and leading 20 sides once again grace the hallowed turf of St Andrews on Sunday. Carnoustie- at well over 7,400 yards, has the reputation of being the most difficult course. Furthermore, the weather seems to be fairly putrid on Thursday, improving incrementally as the weekend progresses. So those teeing it up at Carnoustie on Thursday- Rory included- will certainly enjoy the toughest of conditions.

Rory McIlroy will clearly be the bookies favorite. The Northern Irish superstar is coming off a disappointing season and will be hoping to finally win an event that he has twice finished runner-up in. He will be buoyed by his final round charge at the British Masters, but will need to overcome a difficult Carnoustie course in what are expected to be miserable conditions. Defending champion Tyrell Hatton will feel confident of defending while the likes of Branden Grace and Tommy Fleetwood are amongst the group of contenders this week. But with links golf- particularly played on three courses in different conditions over four days- anything can really happen in an extremely strong line-up.

Past Winners
2016: Tyrell Hatton (-23)
2015: Thorbjorn Olesen (-18)
2014: Oliver Wilson (-17)
2013: David Howell (-23)*playoff
2012: Branden Grace (-22)

To Win Outright
Rory McIlroy 11/2, Branden Grace 20/1, Tommy Fleetwood 20/1, Shane Lowry 20/1, Tyrell Hatton 20/1

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Value Bets

Chris Wood- To Win 33/1, To Place 13/)
Chris Wood is the epitome of a fine links exponent. After a series of missed cuts in this particular event, his recent form reads rather imperiously. His last 4 starts here have yielded results of 15-7-9-4. He isn’t exactly in electrifying form, with a T10th finish at the Dutch followed by a less then flash T26th at the British Masters. However, Wood is a seasoned links campaigner and should be respected at a really good price.

Martin Kaymer- To Win 40/1, To Place 17/)
While it has been some time since the serene German has been in the winner’s enclosure, this event is one that holds a special place in the German’s heart. He was runner-up here in 2008 and won the event in his next attempt in 2010. He has actually had encouraging results in all but one appearance here. He finished 6th after a slow Carnoustie start last year and there have been signs of late that he could be on his way back. He led the accuracy charts in Denmark before hitting more greens then anyone at Close House.

Austin Connelly- To Win 150/1, To Place 33/1
The super talented young Canadian talent burst onto the scene this year with a terrific showing at Birkdale. He may have actually stood a chance of winning the event were it not for a disappointing final round of 73. His form has been wholly unpredictable, but his 2nd place finish recently at the Dutch only served to underline his abilities on links style courses. He seems like an absolute steal at 150/1.

The Man to Beat- Thorbjorn Olesen- To Win 40/1, To Place 17/2
The 2015 champion may not be amongst the winners this season, but the talented Dane has probably had his most impressive season thus far. Although winless thus far this season, he has made 9 consecutive cuts. And it’s perhaps quite telling that his best performance thus far has been at the links-styled Open de France. Long touted as a potential Ryder Cupper, the last time he made nine consecutive cuts he went on to win his next event in Perth. Olesen can be a birdie machine and could be a real steal at 40/1.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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