Golfers discover 'Links' with Celebrities.
Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Thursday 29th - Sunday 2nd September - live on Sky Sports 1
With Bill Haas winning the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour and scooping the $10 million dollar FedExCup prize, attention this weekend can once again return to the European Tour. The lure of links golf has enticed the majority of the world's top golfers as they get the opportunity to test their skills against three top Scottish links courses. In addition to this the players will be paired with a well known personality as the Alfred Dunhill is a pro-am event, which can only add to the spectator's enjoyment.
The likes of 2010 PGA Champion Martin Kaymer 14/1 and Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel 20/1 have expressed this week the excitement which many of the players share of playing at the home of golf. The Links of St. Andrews Old Course never fails to inspire the professionals as the open flowing fairways test their mental strength and adaptability. Despite being a pro-am the prize fund for the event stands at $5,000,000 so the players will be working hard especially on the testing day at the notoriously difficult Carnoustie course.
So who's in with a shout?
Past Champions must be considered and last year was the year of Martin Kaymer with this event being the last he won in 2010. He loves playing at St. Andrews and will be joined by his father who he hopes will act as a calming influence on the links. Nobody has ever defended this title and considering recent form it would be unlikely to happen but you cannot rule out a player of this calibre.
Northern Irishman Darren Clarke 80/1 won the British Open this year on the Royal St. George's Golf Course, but it was Oosthuizen who was the last winner back in 2010 when the event was held at St Andrews. Both of the aforementioned players have proven they have what it takes to tackle abnormalities of links style golf, and a return to form would be welcome from all in golf.
The young American has been in fine form all year. Recently winning The Barclays in the FedExCup playoffs he also finished runner-up in The Open this year. He clearly has found a new confidence for links golf and is expected to go well here at the pro-am event.
This looks like a great price on the model of consistency that is Luke Donald. Having narrowly missed out on the PGA's big $10 million Dollar prize the third favourite will be keen to once again reassert himself as the World's best.
The world number two has been popular with punters. In 2003 he recorded the best aggregate scores over the three links courses of 21-under-par. With five of the world's top six players as well as six of the last seven major winners at the event it may take something special to separate the field and Westwood is proven in tough conditions.
The weekend should prove to be a showcase for links golf, personally a British winner would be nice to see. The weather appears as though it could be kind to the golfers which could be a factor as the Americans and those less used to the harsh conditions could begin to feature at the 'Home of Golf.'