Alfred Dunhill Links Championship betting tips: Grace the ace
Odds and preview for this week’s European Tour event
Some of Europe’s downbeat Ryder Cup stars are in action in Scotland this week and we look at some Alfred Dunhill Links Championship betting tips.
The famous Old Course at St Andrew’s, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns are the venues for the 20th anniversary tournament, which is a Pro-Am event, meaning rounds can be long and demanding.
The forecast contains plenty of wind and rain over the four days so conditions will be testing.
Previous winners include Padraig Harrington and Tyrrell Hatton (twice each), though in recent years big-priced winners include Thorbjorn Olsen (2015), Lucas Bjerregaard (2018) and Victor Perez (2019). Last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Finding greens in regulation is a prevailing key to success; eight of the previous 10 winners were ranked in the top 10 in GIR.
The courses are set up to aid amateurs, so it is usually a birdie-fest for the professionals.
Billy Horschel won the BMW PGA Championship two weeks ago and it is his first appearance in the event. He is bidding to become the first American to win the tournament.
Proven links form is usually a prerequisite and Horschel has not fared particularly well at the Open Championship, where he has made the cut just twice in eight attempts. He is a 12/1 chance this week.
The jet lag combined with anticipated long rounds may not make for the most comfortable experience, but of that trio Fleetwood has been playing the best of late – and he is a fine exponent of links golf.
He has surrendered plenty of good positions on the final day and, in particular, the recent Italian Open comes to mind, yet he has fared well here in the past and merits consideration.
Given Hatton’s history here – a winner in 2016 and 2017 – he,too is worthy of respect.
At larger odds
Alex Noren has not won for more than three years, but has posted two Open top-10s in his last two starts and finished 11th and 15th in his last two Alfred Dunhill Links Championship outings.
The Swede is a decent player in the wind and closed with a 67 at Wentworth, so will interest some at odds of 14/1.
Branden Grace has been playing some fine golf of late. The South African was fourth in the Memorial Tournament, T7 in the US Open, T2 in the Wyndham Championship and produced two closing rounds of 68 and 69 at the BMW Championship.
Grace has no qualms about playing in difficult conditions and his grinding ability should see him in good stead at odds of 22/1.
Sean Crocker (pictured above) has also been building a solid resume over the past few weeks – BMW PGA Championship (T9), Italian Open (T18), European Masters (T4), Czech Maters (T2) and Irish Open (T9) – and a European Tour success cannot be far off.
He is also 14th in GIR in 2021, having been 10th last year, so at 45/1, he will doubtless interest some and the American goes on the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship betting tips list.
Masahiro Kawamura has also been a form horse that has not quite got his head in front in recent week, finishing T5 in the Italian Open, T3 at the ISPS Handa World Invitational, fifth in the Cazoo Open and T7 at the Scandinavian Mixed, so at 50/1 may tickle some each-way punters’ fancy.
Likewise, Calum Hill, who is high in the European Tour GIR stats, would like nothing better than to secure a ‘home’ win for the first time since Colin Montgomerie triumphed here in 2005.
The Cazoo Classic winner is also a 50/1 chance and the Kinross man would have been part of Harrington’s Ryder Cup team had he won at Wentworth.
Despite posting a second round 67, a Thursday round of 78 had inflicted too much damage on the 26-year-old’s scorecard and he missed the cut. Yet he will feel he has a point to prove.
Min Woo Lee has not been in blinding recent form but came alive with a brilliant play-off victory over Thomas Detry and Matt Fitzpatrick in the Scottish Open and merits respect at 66/1.
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication