2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Primer

Surfer Kelly Slater Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
American Surfer Kelly Slater on the 15th green during previews prior to the 2018 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Kingsbarns on October 2, 2018 in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship may not be a Rolex Series event, but with a $5,000,000 purse, contested on three historic Scotland tracks, it sure feels like a big one.

And some of the world’s best players seem to agree, as the field this week is headlined by three of the top-six ranked players in the world: Rory McIlroy (2), Justin Rose (4), and Jon Rahm (6).

In addition to the aforementioned big three, other top-ranked stars in the field include No. 12 Tony Finau, No. 13 Tommy Fleetwood, and Open Champion Shane Lowry (No. 21).

In all 14 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings will be teeing it up this week in Scotland.


The Skinny

Name: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Dates: Sep. 26-29, 2019
Course: Old Course, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns
Where: Scotland, UK
Old Course: Par 72, 7318 yards
Carnoustie: Par 72, 7394 yards
Kingsbarns: Par 72, 7227 yards
Format: 164 Players, Stroke-play, 54-hole cut
Purse: $5 million
Win Share: $780,000
2018 Winner: Lucas Bjerregaard


Watch & Follow

Rd 1: Th 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Rd 2: Fr 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Rd 3: Sa 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Rd 4: Su 7:30 am – 12:30 pm
All times EST. All broadcasts via GOLF Channel

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History

Tommy Fleetwood Alfred Dunhill Links
Tommy Fleetwood tees off on the sixth hole during a practice round ahead of the 2018 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course on Oct 3, 2018 in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is one of the premier tournaments on the European Tour. It is annually held in September, and contested on three different links courses, centered around St. Andrews in Scotland.

The tournament is a pro-am – similar to the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where each team consists of one amateur and one professional. The three-course rotation consists of The Old Course at St Andrews (Rounds 1 and 4), Carnoustie Golf Links (Round 2) and Kingsbarns Golf Links (Round 3).

The 54-hole cut is made of the top 60 professionals and the leading 20 pro-am teams, regardless of the professional member of the team making the individual cut. These players and teams advance to the final round at St Andrews.

Originally called the Dunhill Links Championship, the event was introduced in 2001 as a replacement for the Alfred Dunhill Cup, a three-man team tournament. The inaugural winner was Scotland’s own Paul Lawrie, who edged Ernie Els by one stroke.

Actor Bill Murray Alfred Dunhill Links
Actor Bill Murray walks down the first hole during day one of the 2018 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course on Oct 4, 2018 in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

To increase interest in the event – like the aforementioned Pebble Beach event, many of the amateurs are well-known celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment.

In addition to Lawrie, past winners have included familiar names such as Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Branden Grace, and Tyrrell Hatton – the event’s only back-to-back winner (2016-2017).

History: Records

Wins
2 – Tyrrell Hatton (2016, 2017)
2 – Padraig Harrington (2002, 2006)

Scoring
264 (−24) – Tyrrell Hatton (2017)
265 (−23) – Tyrrell Hatton (2016)
265 (−23) – David Howell (2013)


2018 Winner

Lucas Bjerregaard Wins Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Lucas Bjerregaard poses with the trophy on The Swilcan Bridge after winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course on Oct. 7, 2018 in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images

Lucas Bjerregaard fired a final-round 67 on the Old Course at St Andrews to capture his second European Tour title at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The 27-year old Dane entered the day four back of Tyrrell Hatton, and was six off the pace through six holes, as the Englishman turned in 4-under 32, and appeared set to win his third-straight title at the Old Course. But two late bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16 saw Hatton sign off on a back-nine 40 and an even-par round of 72, good for a 14-under total, one off Bjerregaard, who was in the clubhouse at 15 under, following a final-hole birdie.

“I’m getting a little emotional,” said Bjerregaard. “It’s been a great year and now it’s just a whole lot better.

“It didn’t really look like I was ever in it today, it looked like Tyrrell was going to take off with it. I was trucking away at it. I’ve been playing well for a little while and I played really well today and I’m really pleased that it was enough.”

The 26-year old Hatton finished T2, alongside compatriot, and Ryder Cup teammate, Tommy Fleetwood (69). The Englishmen were two clear of Finn Tapio Pulkkanen (69), who signed for a 12 under total.

Chinese Haotong Li (66) and Italian Andrea Pavan (72) tied for fifth at 10-under par, one clear of Irishman Padraig Harrington (69), Aussie Lucas Herbert (70), and American Brooks Koepka (72).

Final Top-5

Pos-Player-To Par-(Final Rd)
1. Lucas Bjerregaard -15 (-5)
2. Tommy Fleetwood -14 (-3)
2. Tyrrell Hatton -14 (E)
4. Tapio Pulkkanen -12 (-3)
5. Haotong Li -10 (-6)
5. Andrea Pavan -10 (E)


Field

Rory McIlroy Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Rory McIlroy on the sixth tee during day two of the 2017 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Carnoustie. Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

The field in Scotland is headlined by a trio of superstars in Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and Jon Rahm.

Leading the way is world No. 2 McIlroy who will enter off another ho-hum top-10 finish last week at Wentworth. The 30-year old Northern Irishman will be making his fourth pure European Tour start of the 2019 season, after playing almost exclusively on the PGA Tour this past year, where he (controversially) picked up his third MVP award.

McIlroy, who owns a T2 and T9 in his two recent European Tour starts, is a top favorite with U.K. bookmakers at 6-1.

Rahm is basically a co-favorite at 8-1. The 24-year old Spaniard enters off a runner-up finish at last week’s BMW PGA Championship.

The third and final favorite, Rose, is listed at 14-1, and is the only other player with odds better than 20-1. The 39-year old Englishman – like McIlroy and Rahm, posted a top 10 (solo 8th) last week at Wentworth.

Tommy Fleetwood Alfred Dunhill Links
Tommy Fleetwood tees off on the 12th hole during day one at Kingsbarns Golf Course, St Andrews. Photo by Kenny Smith/PA Images via Getty Images

Tommy Fleetwood (20-1) and Shane Lowry (22-1) round out the top-five favorites in Scotland.

Top-5 Betting Favorites

Pos-Player-To Par-(Final Rd)
1. Rory McIlroy (6-1)
2. Jon Rahm (7-1)
3. Justin Rose (14-1)
4. Tommy Fleetwood (20-1)
5. Shane Lowry (22-1)

Full Field & Odds


Credit: European Tour Media, Getty Images


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