This week the European Tour heads to three of the most famous links courses in Scotland for arguably its biggest event of the year: The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

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Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews play host this week as the European Tour swaps the lush fairways of continental Europe for the cold and windy links of Scotland.

Oliver Wilson was the surprise winner here last year with an emotional victory that secured his playing privileges for this season, but he has failed to back that up and looks unlikely to repeat the feat this year.

A very strong field adds to the intrigue of this event as numerous players have a genuine chance based on good recent form, strong previous performance at The Dunhill Links in the past and in the case of many of the field, a penchant for links golf.

Although there are 15 or 20 standout picks in the field this week, six names instantly jump off the page when selecting a winner this weekend.

Our picks

Shane Lowry @ 13/1: The lowest odds in the field this week which is off-putting but it is for good reason: Lowry has had a superb year capped by his brilliant win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational back in August.

The Irishman challenged for the US Open at Chambers Bay, eventually finishing T-9th, but has been quiet since. Lowry loves his links golf and finished T-6th in this event last year: he is twice the player this time around so expect him to be near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.


Branden Grace @ 17/1: Grace has been equally impressive this year with a T-4th at the US Open which he could have won but for an errant tee shot on the 16th, and a 3rd place finish at the US PGA Championship.

Grace already has a win this year and crucially, has won this tournament before with a remarkable 22-under par total back in 2012. Having grown up on the famously tough South African links at Fancourt, Grace ticks all the boxes to contend this week.


Danny Willett @ 28/1: Willett has undoubtedly had the year of his career so far with a win at the Omega European Masters over fellow Sheffielder Matt Fitzpatrick, and most memorably his T-6th finish at The Open at St Andrews where he held the lead overnight on Friday.

Willett lies second in the race to Dubai and being a fan of The Old Course, stands a great chance of overhauling McIlroy at odds that are admittedly far more appealing than that of Lowry or Grace.


Soren Kjeldsen @ 43/1: The Dane has had a somewhat surprisingly successful year after his victory in The Irish Open at Royal County Down in May. Kjeldsen showed then that he can master links golf on one of the toughest tests in the British Isles, so the prospect of the likes of Carnoustie and Kingsbarns will excite him more than most.

Kjeldsen’s form is good coming into this week with 4 Top 12s in his last 6 events contributing to his position of 14th in The Race to Dubai.


Andy Sullivan @ 61/1: The popular Midlander collected early season wins at the SA and Joburg Opens and although he has been quieter of late, he played well at The Open for a T-30th finish and has 4 Top 30s in his last 8 starts. Sullivan’s performance at The Open suggests a good week may be in store.


Ashley Chesters @ 104/1: Chesters only turned professional last week so nerves could be a factor here, but he could not have hoped for a first professional tournament that suits his game more than this.

The Shropshire native had a fantastic tournament at The Open in July, eventually finishing T-12th after being near the top of the leaderboard all week and was even more impressive at The Walker Cup two weeks ago winning 3.5 points out of 4 in a famous European victory.

It is a long shot to see Chesters win this week but he has the talent to contend and at such long odds, well worth an outside bet.


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