Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship 2013 - Kingsbarns, Carnoustie & St Andrews

Without doubt, the field assembling this week in Scotland again to contest the popular celebrity Pro-Am event that is the Dunhill Links is the best we’ve had all year aside from the Majors and the WGCs, and with the weather forecast expected to be good, it could be an action packed tournament. Two time winner, Padraig Harrington will one again team up with victorious partner, JP McManus seeking their third win. They have a good draw in that they play alongside Martin & Phillip Kaymer. But they open their campaigns on the Carnoustie course. For the draw details check here

The players and their amateur partners will play alternatively over the Kingsbarns, St Andrews and the much more difficult Carnoustie courses the first 3 days with Sunday's final round reverting to St Andrews. The cut comes after the third round. The key to winning here apart from having the patience is to score as well as you can on the easier of the 2 courses and put a decent effort in at Carnoustie. The courses will be setup easy enough with pin placement being generous to allow for the amateurs so the usual winning score around –22 will be required. Ideally for me, I’d like to see the draw before backing my man, as I like to have Kingsbarns up first.

Victor Dubuisson has impressed me a few times this season and his last outing yielded a T3rd at the Omega European Masters. The 23-year-old Frenchman should take inspiration from fellow countryman, Julian Quesne who won in Turin on Sunday and also take some confidence into the week knowing he has performed well in this event over the past two years finishing T5th last year and T27th in 2011. He shot a stunning 62 in his opening round which was actually bettered by 2 by the eventual winner Brandon Grace last year. He is worth backing this week at odds at around 50/1 or better. Out early on the St Andrews course on Thursday, I'm hoping he can put in a low one as the trend here the past few years shows its essential to get a fast start.The plan is to go low Thursday and put in that decent effort at Carnoustie before making a move on Saturday. 50/1 still available.

As of Wednsday evening it has come to my attention that Dubuisson has withdrawn. Thanks to John Rhodes of Skybet for tweeting the information . (Follow John @ rhodesygolf) As a result I am adding 2 players in to my staking plan - both @ 0.5 pts e/w. They are former winner here, Michael Hoey and his compatriot Simon Thornton who is playing very well of late. Simon plays with former Irish Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy and alongside Shane Lowry & Gerry McManus. It should be a nice fourball. Simon can be backed @ 250/1. 
    Hoey, well, he'll either be in the mix or he he'll be mixing the drinks in the bar for the rest of the lads. That said, he's played quite well this year, he's won on tour as has Thornton and they should be nice and relaxed playing on courses thay are well used to playing on and conditions very similar to back home.

The Irish Open champion, Paul Casey is well worth a look this week.
Having taken last week off he will be fresh and relaxed for an event that suits his demeanour. His results here over the years also shows he likes this format. He missed the cut last year, which is easily excused as he recovered from injury but compiled 3 TOP10s the previous 3 years. Casey will be keen to improve on his OWGR as much as he can as he sits just outside the TOP100 and build on that win back at Carton House. 25/1 with most bookies paying 6 places available.(Plays Carnoustie Thursday)

I'm adding a third selection in the shape of Shane Lowry who was not on my original shortlist. Having seen the draw I was disappointed to see many on that shortlist teeing it up Thursday at Carnoustie. Lowry, however will tee it with partner, Gerry McManus, brother of JP. They will be keen to beat the other Irish team! He plays in a group with compatriot Simon Thornton and has Kingsbarns up first followed by St Andrews and I like this draw. Only 40/1 available still for those seeking e/w. 

TIP 1 : 1 pt e/w V.Dubuisson @ 50/1   

0.5 pts e/w M.Hoey @ 110/1 & 0.5 pts S.Thornton @ 250/1

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w P.Casey @ 25/1

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 40/1

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