Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – Thurs 1st October from 13:00 live on Sky Sports 4
With no PGA Tour action this week, the European Tour takes centre stage with the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The 15th renewal of this event has attracted a strong field, the likes of Brooks Koepka, Branden Grace, Martin Kaymer, Shane Lowry, and Luke Donald will be teeing it up in Scotland and they’ll be looking to win their share of the $5,000,000 prize fund. This event is the only pro-am tournament on the European Tour schedule, this means that each professional is partnered by an amateur.
From Thursday to Saturday, the professionals and amateurs will alternate between three different courses before the cut is made, those courses being St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. Those that make the cut will return to this year’s Open Championship venue, St. Andrews on Sunday to compete for the title. Each of the three courses are links venues, and links golf provides a different test to most European Tour venues, therefore form in this event is a big plus for me this week. It’s also worth looking at who has performed well in tournaments which are played on links golf courses, such as the Open Championship and the Irish Open in recent years. Finally, low scoring is crucial this week as all three courses are set up easy due to number of amateurs competing, and I expect scoring to exceed 20 under par if the conditions are calm.
Jamie Donaldson – Admittedly it hasn’t been Jamie Donaldson’s best season, but there’s no doubting that he’s a quality player. He’s a three time winner on the European Tour and his performance in last week’s European Open suggests his games in good shape. Donaldson finished in 5th position, hit 79.2% of greens in regulation and made 16 birdies and an eagle. In previous years, Jamie has proved he can go well in this event, he’s finished 8th, 9th and 26th in his most recent start, this indicating it’s a tournament he’s more than capable of winning.
3pts each way @ 33/1
Marc Warren – Marc Warren is one of the best links players in the field this week and despite missing the cut in the European Open, I’m happy to have him on side at 66/1. The European Open was his first start in over a month, therefore we can assume his game wasn’t as sharp as it could’ve been. Warren has won three times at this level and has proved on numerous occasions what a great links player he is. He’s tied for 4th in the Paul Lawrie Match Play and the Scottish Open this year, both of which are played at links venues. Finally, the Scotsman has a pretty good record in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, he’s made the cut in six of his last seven starts and has finished inside the top 35 on each occasion.
1.5pts each way @ 66/1
Peter Hanson – Six time European Tour winner, Peter Hanson has struggled with injuries over the past couple of years, but this season he’s proved he can win again. In June, Hanson finished 7th in the BMW International and 13th in the Nordea Masters, and last week he tied for 19th position, this suggesting that his games in good shape. The Swede is a very good links golfer, he won the KLM Open in 2012 and has a superb record in this event. Peter Hanson has played in it eight times since 2005 and has finished inside the top 10 on three occasions, and has only missed one cut over this period of time. At a three figure price, Hanson is well worth backing in this event after proving his fitness is last week’s European Open.
0.75pts each way @ 125/1
Prices correct at the time of writing
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