Alfred Dunhill Links Tips. Watch These Tips On YouTube

Extra Place Special! Both Ladbrokes and Stan James are going 6 places EW in Scotland this week - click here for odds: Ladbrokes | Stan James


Paul Williams' Tips for the 2012 Alfred Dunhill Links. Follow Us On Twitter @Golfbetting

After the euphoria of last week's sensational European victory at Medinah it's back to earth this week, although to be fair we've got an excellent event to contend with after a 2-week break on the European Tour. The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship has the biggest European-based prize fund outside of the BMW PGA Championship and always manages to attract some top names, some of whom have flown straight over from Chicago to tee it up again this week - namely Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson as well as Dustin Johnson who is on one of his occasional sojourns across the Atlantic. Added to those we have the bookies' favourite Louis Oosthuizen (14/1 generally) who has been getting mighty close to a first win on US soil in recent times, Major champions Padraig Harrington, Charl Schwartzel and Ernie Els plus a high-quality supporting cast from the top end of the European Tour.

The Alfred Dunhill Links is a pro-am format played on 3 courses - Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and St Andrews - over the first 3 days, then the final round is contested around the Old Course with some trickier pin positions. Carnoustie tends to play the toughest of the 3 courses, however much depends on the strength of the breeze - as we saw first hand at the 2010 Open Championship when a windy Friday decimated many scorecards at St Andrews. At this stage it looks like Friday is likely to be the breeziest day although nothing for the top-class professionals to get overly concerned about - as such the scoring should be low with plenty of birdies contributing towards a winning total in the mid-to-high teens likely. It should also be generally dry and bright, although a little chilly - particularly in the mornings - which may favour those European players who are most used to playing with a few layers of clothes on...

Last year's winner Michael Hoey halted a number of trends that I'd previously used as part of my analysis for this event, however it's worth noting that every winner of this event since its inauguration in 2001 has recorded at least one win or a runners-up finish on the European Tour in that season to date. With 6 places being paid for each way bets by both Ladbrokes and Stan James I'm going with 5 players in total this week:

Paul Lawrie 2pts EW 25/1 with Ladbrokes Free Bet NEW OFFER! Get a £50 free bet via this link, plus 6 places each way: Ladbrokes Free Bet

The Ryder Cuppers will be too tired I hear you cry! After a huge celebration on Sunday and a Tuesday flight back across the Atlantic surely that's far from perfect preparation for a player to triumph over 4 long rounds on a chilly Links? Well here's something to chew on: 2010 Alfred Dunhill Links winner Martin Kaymer had just competed as part of Monty's successful team at Celtic Manor; 2008 champion Robert Karlsson had played at Valhalla a fortnight earlier; 2006 winner Padraig Harrington had been part of the successful K-Club team, likewise he won in 2002 the week after playing a key part in the European's victory at the Belfry. Only Stephen Gallacher's triumph in 2004 breaks this sequence, however if you go further back you'll also find more evidence of Ryder Cup players winning the next event on the European Tour - albeit not this event specifically.

So, if this trend is going to strike again then we've only got 3 likely winners - Martin Kaymer, Peter Hanson and Paul Lawrie. Kaymer may have made all the TV coverage over the last couple of days but one 5-foot putt doesn't suddenly rectify what has been a poor season for the German and whilst he'll be buoyed by the victory and may well come back to win again soon, I don't think it will be this week despite being a previous winner here - he simply needs to find his A-Game first. Peter Hanson was angry to have played so few matches at Medinah and when he did play he lost both times - he may have a point to prove this week, however of the 3 I'd opt for Paul Lawrie. Already twice a winner in 2012, the former Open Champion will receive a hero's welcome from the vociferous Scottish support after demolishing Brandt Snedeker 5&3 on Sunday and could well make it a hat-trick of wins this season by Sunday night. Lawrie won this event in its first season back in 2001 and came close again in 2007, eventually finishing 4th behind Nick Dougherty - he's in far better nick than that 2007 form at present coming off the back of his Gleneagles victory on his penultimate start and, having been lightly raced by Ollie, it's only the hangover, not fatigue, that will likely affect him this week.

Jamie Donaldson 1pt EW 33/1 with Ladbrokes Free Bet NEW OFFER! Get a £50 free bet via this link, plus 6 places each way: Ladbrokes Free Bet

Welshman Donaldson finally broke his European Tour duck at Royal Portrush earlier this season after countless opportunities and contending performances - everything clicked for once and he ran out an easy 4-stroke winner in the end. That performance clearly gave him a huge amount of confidence and a solid display at Firestone was followed up by a 7th at Kiawah Island for his best Major finish by some considerable stretch. 9th at Crans and 21st in Holland before the break momentarily put him inside the World's top 50, however at 52nd now - and having tasted the 'high life' over the last few months - he'll be eager to put clear daylight between himself and those players hovering around 50th position as the 2012 season draws to a close. 2 top 10s in this event in the past 4 seasons is encouraging and whilst the price isn't that appealing, it is a fair reflection of the player that he's threatening to become during his breakthrough season and is worth taking on.

Richie Ramsay 1pt EW 40/1 with Get a £10 free bet and 6 places each way via this link:

My second Scottish player is the massively in-form Richie Ramsay who has found a new lease of life in his putter to compliment his excellent tee-to-green game - a combination which is always dangerous! After 5 missed cuts from 6 events between May and July, the 29 year-old exploded back to form with a top-6 at Gleneagles before securing his 2nd European Tour victory a week later at Crans. Not content with that, he then finished in a tie for 2nd in Holland behind Peter Hanson the following week, clearly showing no signs of fatigue. 3 weeks off will have given the Aberdeen man time to take stock of his season and with over €900k in the bank and a potentially lucrative visit to Dubai in the offing, it's time for Ramsay to broaden his horizons further I feel - at 58th on the OWGR he now has a huge chance to secure a top-50 berth before the end 2012 and gain entry to the World top events in 2013. A win here would put him in pole position and with positive memories of his 4th place finish here in 2009 combined with the massive confidence of the last few weeks, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find him right in the mix on home soil this week.

Ross Fisher 1pt EW 66/1 with Ladbrokes Free Bet NEW OFFER! Get a £50 free bet via this link, plus 6 places each way: Ladbrokes Free Bet

After a mid-season improvement Fisher has been a little quiet of late, however the former Ryder Cup star will no doubt be itching to rekindle his form after slipping down the World Rankings - at his current position of 141st he needs to get back on the winning trail and soon if he's to play in the big events that offer the kind of opportunities to prove himself at the highest level. Personally I think we'll see a revival in fortunes for the Englishman over the next couple of seasons - he feels his game is in decent shape and with better luck could have notched a win or 2 already this season - and this event would be the perfect starting point with the elevated prize fund and OWGR points on offer.

Fisher's links pedigree isn't up for debate - At Turnberry in 2009 he held a two-stroke lead in the early stages of the final round, before taking a quadruple on the 5th and eventually finishing in a tie for 13th. His win in Holland at the Kennemer G&CC was on the links-style course used prior to the KLM Open's current venue and a playoff defeat here to Robert Karlsson in 2008 suggests he'll be right at home on the East coast of Scotland. After a couple of good days at Gleneagles he made no impression at Crans or in Holland and would have been thankful for the enforced break - the objective now is to gather the final €60k or so in prize money which will see him to Dubai and kick-start a positive spiral of results and form which could see him get back towards to the World's top tier, starting this week.

Stephen Gallacher 1pt EW 80/1 with Get a £10 free bet and 6 places each way via this link:

My final selection is another Scot, this time 2004 Dunhill Links champion Stephen Gallacher - a victory which still ranks as his only success on the European Tour despite a plethora of contending performances since then. With his well documented back issues, I'm always wary of backing Gallacher when he's either played too much competitive golf and/or doing a lot of travelling - no such problems this week as the 37 year old lives a reasonably short distance away in Bathgate and after 3 weeks off will be ready to tackle this event head on. With 2 early-season runners up finishes in the bag, Gallacher all but secured his place at the Dubai World Championship with a top-6 finish at Gleneagles at the end of August despite a poor start on Thursday. A solid performance at Crans was followed by a missed cut in Holland - I'm not overly surprised with that MC after 3 weeks of action and the rest will leave Stephen in great shape to mount another charge at the scene of his 2004 triumph in front of his home fans.

Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 18:10BST 2.10.12 but naturally subject to fluctuation. Author Paul Williams, Find us on Google+

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