The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is played across three famous old courses in Scotland in St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns and has been won in past years by some great Links players – notably Colin Montgomerie, Padraig Harrington, Stephen Gallacher and Paul Lawrie. Each player plays one round at each of the three courses and then there is a 54-hole cut. After this, the final round is played at St Andrews.
European Ryder Cup winner Tyrrell Hatton is the defending champion. He won this tournament in each of the last two years. Last year he won by three shots, while in 2016 he secured a four-shot victory. We saw him shooting rounds of 66 on the Sunday at St Andrew’s on each occasion and each time beating Ross Fisher into second place. Another of Europe’s Ryder Cup-winning team, Thorbjorn Olesen, was the 2015 champion. Following on from wins for Oliver Wilson, David Howell and Branden Grace.
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Favourites
A clutch of Ryder Cup stars top the betting market for this event, headed by the American Brooks Koepka, with the three-time major champion a best price of 9/1* with Bet365. Koepka was runner-up to Olesen here in 2015. Tommy Fleetwood, who scored four points in Paris playing with Francesco Molinari, is a 12/1* chance across the board, while Tony Finau is at 14/1* with most firms.
Hatton is the third representative of the winning European team. The Englishman is at 16/1* with Bet365 as he seeks a hat-trick of victories at this event. Other leading players teeing it up this week include Shane Lowry at 20/1*, Matthew Fitzpatrick at 22/1* and Chris Wood at 25/1*.
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Tips
Fisher has gone off the boil since finishing second three times in six outings around the turn of the year. But the Englishman boasts a proud record at this championship. He can be a force to be reckoned with again this time around. The world number 64 has been runner-up here three times and has enjoyed a couple of other solid performances over the years. Bet365 and Betfred are both offering him at 45/1*.
There were plenty of pundits who felt Matt Kuchar would have been a stronger wildcard pick than Phil Mickelson. But it wasn’t to be for the world number 33. However, he gets a chance to showcase his links golf ability here. He has finished second and ninth at the last two Open Championships.
Kuchar was also second at the Scottish Open three years ago and as one of the PGA Tour’s most consistent performers, he must be considered a serious contender this week. Bet365 quote him at 45/1.*
Some tournaments seem to suit certain players better than others and Joakim Lagergren is one of those who really enjoys this setup. The Swede has finished fourth, fourth and 12th at this event over the last three years. Although his most recent form is a concern. He played well at both the Irish Open and the Scottish Open over the summer. A winner at this year’s Sicilian Open, Lagergren can be backed at the tempting each-way price of 80/1* with Bet365.
*All odds subject to change.