The Alfred Dunhill Championship is one of the most enjoyable events of the year on the European Tour, as Professionals and Celebrities gather in Scotland for a Pro-Am played on two of the most iconic courses in the world in St Andrews and Carnoustie, plus one of the best new links courses in Kingsbarns.
The players play each of the three courses in rotation over the first 3 days, and therefore the cut isn’t made until the 54-hole stage, after which the top 60 pros and the top 20 Pro-Am pairings progress to the final 18 holes at St Andrews.
The title has so far eluded Rory McIlroy but, with form figures of 3/8/2/53/2, no one can accuse him of not trying. However, after a relatively poor season plagued by injury and marriage plans, this could be McIlroy’s time as he plays for only the second time in 6 years. He’s also playing with his Dad, and this close-knit father and son pairing would love to win the title together. Rory also comes here fresher than most and, if he brings the same form he showed at the weekend at the British Masters, he could coast home.
Annoyed that I talked myself out of backing Paul Dunne last week, it will be interesting to see how the new British Masters Champion fares this week after finishing 19/25 here the last twice. There’s a danger that he’ll have been celebrating too hard after his first European Tour win, but equally his confidence could be sky-high after closing it out with a phenomenal round of 61. It’s also worth remembering that he led the Open Championship for 54 holes at St Andrews in 2015, and he’s putting so well that he deserves a chance to go back-to-back, as he’ll see this as the perfect opportunity to secure lots more Ryder Cup Points.
Shane Lowry is also a player who’d love to win this title, and the former Irish Open winner loves links golf. Twice seventh here in his last three tournaments, he looks poised to go close after previous finishes of 3/6/19/18 on his last four visits.
Finally, the fourth selection this week goes to Florian Fritsch who, after finishing 19/7 on his only previous starts in the event. He has to make the most of his starts on the European Tour too, as he misses many events due to a fear of flying. He drove over to England last week and managed a brilliant fourth at the British Masters.
2017 Alfred Dunhill Links Tips
Rory McIlroy 2 Points Each-Way @ 11/2 Paddy Power (7 places)
Paul Dunne 1 Points Each-Way @ 33/1 Unibet (6 places)
Shane Lowry 1 Point Each-Way @ 20/1 William Hill (6 places)
Florian Fritsch 1 Point Each-Way @ 100/1 Betway (6 places)