Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - Winner

This event is no doubt a bit of a lottery with a birdie fest more often than not playing out and a fair ounce of luck to play the right courses on the right day. Poor enough weather looks on the horizon also and I wouldn't be surprised should the Nordic/English domination of this event continue with the cold snap arriving. 

Eddie Pepperell to Win (Eight Places)

Eddie Pepperell looks to have regained some of his best form lately and he must be confident of making a bold fist of this event. 7th here in 2017 has been followed by another couple of top 20s and this further bolsters an excellent links record both in Scotland and Ireland.

Eddie's career certainly goes in peaks and troughs and his form recently suggests a peak may be on the horizon and this looks one of the more likelier spots where it could come together. It's a tough field to overcome but an easier test such as this with the amateurs playing levels the playing field somewhat and this is a big opportunity for Pepperell to pounce and get back into the winners enclosure. I'm surprised 66/1 is out there and it looks worthy of a solid bet.

1pt each-way E.Pepperell  55/1 (1/5 8)

Eddie Pepperell to win - 1pt e/w @ 55/1

Thorbjorn Olesen to Win (Eight Places)

Nicolai Hojgaard certainly looks interesting around the 125/1 mark following a lacklustre effort in France and should he find a touch on or around the greens could make a mockery of those odds. His fellow countryman Jeff Winther is another interesting candidate at 150/1. I slightly prefer the Dane with a solid record at this event though in Thorbjorn Olesen.

Following his airline troubles, Olesen bounced back to form quickly enough and got a win at the British Masters at the Belfry in May. Wins in Sicily and Perth as well as the victory and runner up finish here means Olesen has a fine record on links tracks or those by the coast.

This is where he excels and his long game last week certainly leaps off the page. He ranked first in SG tee to green in France but an uncharacteristic poor display with the putter saw him unable to better 20th place. Barren spells with the putter don't ever last too long for Olesen and should he bounce back this week he'll be a big runner. 

1pt each-way T.Olesen  50/1  (1/5 8)

Thorbjorn Olesen - 1pt e/w @ 50/1

Jack Senior to Win (Seven Places)

Jack Senior went off a similar price at Wentworth in a stronger field and should be closely watched when returning to these links tracks. He led the Scottish Open a couple of years back after day 1 with an opening 64 at the Renaissance on route to finishing 10th at the end of the week.

Two wins on the Challenge Tour have come at Galgorm and Spey Valley in Aviemore so he is clearly suited by golf around these parts. Top 20s a couple of months ago in Ballymena and Prague were followed by an 18th placed finish at the linksy Himmerland track in Denmark.

These are the types of tests that suit the Englishman and provided there are no ill effects from his late withdrawal last week then the 200/1 is big enough to take the risk with. 

0.75pt each-way J.Senior  200/1  (1/5 7)

Jack Senior to win - 0.75pts e/w @ 200/1

Sami Valimaki to Win (Seven Places)

Sami Valimaki returned a top 20 last week in France and given his credentials in windier weather must be on the radar this week at a big price. He first hit my radar back in 2020 at the Vic Open where he finished tied 7th in what was a very blustery weekend eventually won by Min Woo Lee. We know what followed for Min Woo, most notably a Scottish Open victory in 2021. The runner up that week Ryan Fox has also produced decent efforts on links tracks.

Valimaki was noted that week for events by the coast and I was disappointed to miss out on his maiden victory in Oman later that year. In the past couple of months he has shown glimpses of previous form with a top five in Germany then a top 25 in the much tougher Scottish Open in July. He was good off the tee last week in France and backed that up with a solid putting display (7th in the field). The putter usually plays a fair part in this birdie fest and should he improve slightly with the irons then he could have a big run under conditions that suit.

0.75pt each-way S.Valimaki  250/1  (1/5 7)

Sami Valimaki - 0.75pts e/w @ 250/1

Jorge Campillo to Win (Eight Places)

Qatar is usually a good barometer for links players and Jorge Campillo comes into the equation following his win there and 20 and an eye-catching approach game last week. He missed the cut in France but his approach play was superb and only for a desperately cold putter he would have scored a lot better. He missed the cut on the number and I see his effort last week as a positive if anything.

3rd place at Ballyliffin a few years back is another fine effort on links and his best result at this event came last year when finishing inside the top 20. 150/1 across the board looks insulting for someone who went off around a third of that price last week in France. The Spaniard has a great touch on and around the greens usually and should it return this week he will have the tools to tame these tracks. Looks one to have on side with an overreaction in price to last weeks missed cut.

0.75pt each-way J.Campillo  150/1  (1/5 8)

Jorge Campillo to win - 0.75pts e/w @ 150/1

David Horsey to win (Seven Places)

David Law may get things going back on links and it'd be no surprise to me should he score well this week at a price of 300/1. The English have a great record in this event though and for the second week on the trot I'll chance David Horsey at a big price. 39th was the best he could muster last week with a cold putter being the main reason for the average effort.

He has made five of his last six cuts here at this event with 9th and 11th being the best two efforts in that period. He produced a great final two rounds in Wentworth and I was hoping for a continuation of that in France. Oli Wilson, David Howell. Simon Dyson and Nick Dougherty all won this event with a similar game to what Horsey has and the 37 year old is hitting the prime time to repeat efforts such as those.

He can get away with a lack of length here much more than what you can at Paris National so this suits even better in terms of a bet. We see double the price of last week and that's enough for me to get involved once again.

0.75pt each-way D.Horsey 300/1 (1/5 7)

David Horsey to win - 0.75pts e/w @ 300/1