The European Tour continues to get stronger as it builds towards the climax of the Race to Dubai and this week it is time for the ever popular Alfred Dunhill Links. The event actually comprises two tournaments, the first is a bona fide European Tour event with a prize purse of more than £3m and the second is pro-am event that runs at the same time. Some of the biggest stars in the world of golf will compete alongside celebrities including sports stars, actors and musicians.
The Alfred Dunhill is one of the biggest tests of links golf there is. Each player in the field will play a round at the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, three of the most historic courses in Scotland. Many players in the field will be making their second trip to St Andrews this year as the Open was held there back in July and although Zach Johnson isn’t here this week, 10 former major champions are, showing the strength of this week’s field.
As the tournament is stretched over three courses the organisers have been able to cram in a huge number of players and that’s even before considering all the amateurs. From a betting perspective this can make the Alfred Dunhill Links a difficult tournament to predict but there is one key to take into account when choosing players to bet on – previous links form. Only those who can deal with the blustery conditions up in Scotland, can keep the ball out of trouble and avoid the pot bunkers littered around the courses will have any chance of winning this week. It is also important to take temperament into account as the pace of play can be dramatically altered when playing with amateurs.
One player who ticks all the boxes for success this week is the South African, Branden Grace. The 27-year-old has had a good season on both tours which included two wins on the European Tour and he won this event back in 2012. He can shape the ball both ways to deal with the wind and has good imagination with his short game. The bookies fancy him to at least go close again this time around but you can still get a very fair 18/1 with Coral about him which looks a very good price.
Luke Donald will have flown in to Scotland feeling as confident about his chances of winning a tournament as he has for a long time. This season has seen the former world number one return to form although he desperately needs a win to confirm that he is truly back in business. With his brilliant short game and ability to deal with even the most horrible weather, Donald has a great chance to win at 28/1 with Coral.
The final player to back this week is another Englishman, Eddie Pepperell. The 24-year-old has firmly established himself on the European Tour having graduated through the Challenge Tour and he was close to winning his first event on the big stage at the Irish Open at Royal County Down. That showed he can get it around a very difficult links course in testing conditions so have an each way bet on him at 50/1 with Ladbrokes.