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Rupert Wyman 6th Oct 2010 - 15:23

Westwood in dash for cash

There are a host of Europe's Ryder Cup stars that will be competing at the Dunhill Links Championship. Lee Westwood (10/1) may well be nursing a week long hangover but he will be desperate to make an impression in Scotland.

He has decided to stay this side of the Atlantic, the only members of the European team not to compete in Scotland are Poulter, Donald and Jimenez.

If Westwood can win or come second, he will usurp Tiger Woods as world number one.  He would be the first Englishman to be world number one since the former Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo.

He won the competition in 2003 and he loves playing Links courses. He is now injury free and if he starts better than his first round last year then he could be great value at 2/1 for a Top 5 finish. He hit an opening round score of 73 last year, to leave himself chasing the leaders throughout the four days.

Pre Ryder Cup, Westwood had two months off recuperating from injury, so he plays this tournament relatively fresh.

Colin Montgomerie (150/1) has said in the past that it is almost impossible to come from behind and win at St Andrews. The winner of this event will be a conservative golfer that can set the pace but can maintain the lead by carding enough pars on Sunday.

This event is played over three of Scotland's finest links courses. The Kingsbarn course will be the stage of the first day's play, while Carnoustie and St Andrews will hold Friday and Saturday's play with St Andrews also being used on the final day.

McIlroy (12/1) also enjoys his links golf. He capitalised on fantastic conditions to equal the lowest ever round scored in the Open Championship on the opening day when playing in July, he also tied the course record.

However, he went on to shoot an eighty on the Friday and was no longer in contention. He sometimes seems uneasy in bad conditions and if you have an outright punt on him, you would need to check the weather forecast first.

Padraig Harrington (25/1) could be a good each-way option, he blew hot and cold at the Ryder Cup but some of his play at the Vivendi Cup proved he can still cut the mustard at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

He is a well liked guy and he will have the crowd behind him, buoyed by Europe's Ryder Cup win. He has an excellent record in the competition and he should be thereabouts on Sunday.

Quiros (50/1) will be smarting having not made the Ryder Cup squad and he will be keen to show his mettle. The big hitter will enjoy the long fairways at St Andrews and although he has not lit the tour alight this season, he has made a winner's speech at the Open de Espana already.

Nick Dougherty has been struggling of late and is available at a lofty price of 125/1, he won the Dunhill Links three years ago and a strong finish will help him move away from 134th in the Race to Dubai rankings.

The players will be keen to finish high because of the large prize fund. It is important to remember that they play three different links courses this week. The weather could also make a huge difference at this time of year, so consistency is the key.

So on that note my final pick is Scotland's very own Stephen Gallacher (40/1), the 2004 Dunhill Links winner.

He has course knowledge all round and he is a very steady player. He has had three top twenty finishes in his last five events. He will have the crowd behind him and if he takes an early lead, he could be the winner come Sunday.



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