The 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (26-29 September) is this week’s European Tour event and this popular pro-am carries a purse of $5 Million.
Celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment will have booked this week in their diaries since the moment last year’s tournament ended, and the lucky ones to be invited will have the chance to play alongside a number of the top European professionals such as Rory McIlroy, John Rahm, and Tommy Fleetwood.
The event takes place on the three famous links courses of St Andrews, Carnoustie, and Kingsbarns over the first three days, with all players playing one round at each venue. The pros and amateurs that make the 54-hole cut will then do battle over the final 18 holes at St Andrews on Sunday.
Conditions should ensure a birdie-fest for the professionals this week, as the courses set up easier than they would be for an Open Championship. The light rain that is forecast to fall in the St Andrews area this week should also soften the greens, whilst the wind is forecast to blow between just 8 and 14 km/h over the four days.
Rory McIlroy heads the market this week and, as a three-time Alfred Dunhill Links Championship runner-up, he’s entitled to go close after playing some impressive golf at Wentworth last weekend. He has the extra motivation of playing with his dad this week and, as winning the tournament with dad is on his bucket list, there will be lots of punters willing to take the 6/1 this week.
John Rahm makes his debut at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this year and the Spaniard has already proven he loves links golf with two wins in the Irish Open. But the pro-am format will be a new experience for him in England and he could be forgiven for letting his concentration slip and having fun after a stellar effort to finish runner-up in last week’s BMW PGA Championship.
The bookies make Justin Rose third favourite this week, but the Englishman makes little appeal as he’s making his first appearance here since finishing 66th in 2008. He was second in 2007, but Rose has always looked like a golfer that needs 100% concentration to produce his best golf, whilst he also looked like he was running out of steam in the final round at Wentworth on Sunday.
Tommy Fleetwood is fourth favourite with most bookmakers but, despite being the only player in the world not to miss a cut this year, the gut-feeling is he’s not at his best currently. This tournament may spark him back to life, as he twice finished runner-up, but he doesn’t make much appeal at around 18/1.
Shane Lowry also boasts two to-10s in the event, but he’ll surely be spending plenty of time regaling people about how he won this year’s Open Championship in Ireland. Danny Willett faces a similar scenario regarding last week’s Wentworth win.
Alfred Dunhill Links Championship 2019 Analysis
Tony Finau is the first of this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship free tips. The big-hitting American didn’t quite get to grips with Wentworth’s tight layout last week, but he’ll be able to drive it on plenty of par 4’s this week. Last week was also his first tournament for a month, and he could be ready for a return to top form in an event in which he finished 10th last season.
The second of this week’s free tips for the Alfred Dunhill Championship is Bernd Wiesberger and the Austrian should be hungry for another crack at this event after missing the last two with injury. He’s been playing great since his return and is notably a better putter than when finishing fourth and seventh in 2015 and 2016. He’s already a Scottish Open Champion on links courses this year and he should go well after finishing 17th last week.
It’s also hard to ignore the claims of Tyrell Hatton, who won here in 2016 and 2017, and he should have made it a hat-trick last year before only finishing second. He’s not been anywhere near his best this year but proved his love of links golf with 14th at the Scottish Open and 6th at the Open Championship. He took a break after the final major and will be looking to hit top form this week in an event where his record is second to none.