Thoughts of Europe’s fantastic Ryder Cup victory at Le Golf National last week may still be fresh in the mind, but the golfing action continues to come thick and fast with the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship getting underway on Thursday.
If you know little about the Dunhill Links format, the tournament is played over three courses – the Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns Golf Links – while each professional will be partnered with an amateur for the duration of the event.
The pros will compete in an individual stroke play event as per a regulation week on the European Tour, but will also be part of a Pro-Am competition involving their partner, with the best score on each hole from every pair taken.
Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood and defending champion Tyrrell Hatton will all tee it up in Scotland but despite the quartet leading the market, a Ryder Cup hangover is always a worry and there are others that appeal more.
Fisher to finally land Scottish crown
Englishman Ross Fisher is yet to lift the coveted trophy although he has had a number of near-misses, having finished runner-up last year and tied-second in 2016 and 2008.
The 37-year-old, who is priced at 45/1 to win this week, has been in decent form this season, recording a second-place finish at the ABU Dhabi HSBC Championship and a tie for 17th at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Backing a player that knows the course and is used to the often blustery Scottish conditions will be crucial this week, and world number 64 Fisher looks primed for the picking.
Fitzpatrick to continue winning run
Another Englishman that looks great value at 22/1 is the in-form Matthew Fitzpatrick. The 24-year-old finished tied-seventh at the Made In Denmark – an event which he narrowly missed out on a Ryder Cup spot – before successfully defending his Omega European Masters title after beating Lucas Bjerregaard in a playoff.
The 24-year-old from Sheffield recorded his best Dunhill Links result last year – when he ended up in a share of 15th – and he heads into the tournament with a stroke average of 69.77 this season, putting him 14th in this department on the European Tour’s statistics.
Coetzee to break English dominance
An Englishman has won the event four times from the past five editions, but South African George Coetzee has looked in decent form lately and he represents great value at 66/1 to triumph.
The world number 154 won his first title in three years when landing the Tshwane Open back in March and he heads into the tournament off the back of a positive tied-20th Portugal Masters finish.
Coetzee can still bomb it a long way off the tee – averaging 313.9 yards to sit 14th in this department – whilst his putting has also been impressive this season, with the 32-year-old eighth on putts per GIR and 13th in one-putts.
In terms of bigger outside prices, South African Brandon Stone looks big odds at 70/1 after his Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open success this year, whilst Englishman Matthew Southgate is a tempting price at 80/1.
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