Fantasy League: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship preview

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After the drama of the FedEx Cup playoffs, the Today’s Golfer Fantasy League is switching back to the European Tour this week for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

This unique tournament features a pro-am competition with celebrities and is held over three of Scotland’s finest links courses: the Old Course at St. Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie.

The format, venue and big prize money on offer has encouraged a strong field to assemble, which includes five of the world’s top-six ranked players. Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy and American Dustin Johnson will be teeing up this week vying for the top share of the $5m prize fund.

The list of elite players competing doesn’t stop there though. A total of 15 of the world’s top 50 will make the trip to Scotland, including Major Champions Darren Clarke, Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Graeme McDowell.

There may be a welcome Indian summer for the south of England this week, but conditions in Scotland are forecast to be unsettled, with heavy rain at times. So look to select players that relish the challenge of links golf at its toughest.

TG’s six-man Fantasy League team for the Dunhill Links is:

Luke Donald, $4.5m
His tied-third finish at the Tour Championship last week was his 13th top-ten finish of the season. The world No 1 currently tops the money list both sides of the pond and will be looking to increase his lead here. Winner of the Scottish Open back in July at Castle Stuart.

Martin Kaymer, $4.5m
The defending champion may not have been as prolific as last year, but he’s still racked up a victory in Abu Dhabi, two runner-up spots and three other top-tens.

Simon Dyson, $1.2m
The Englishman is one of the hottest players on the European Tour at present. He won this event two years ago and has notched up two wins in his last six starts. Dyson is renowned for his love of links golf and finished tied-fifth here last year.

Thomas Bjorn, $1.4m
The 40-year-old’s resurgence this year has been nothing short of miraculous. The Dane has won three times this year already, one of these wins coming at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, where he triumphed in similar conditions to what the players will face this week. Finished 11th here last year.

Robert Karlsson, $2.4m
The Swede, who made the decision to take up membership of both the PGA Tour and European Tour this year, has only missed four cuts all season and finished tied-fourth at the US PGA Championship. Karlsson also won the Dunhill Links back in 2008.

Jamie Donaldson, $1m
Despite being yet to seal his maiden win on the European Tour, the Welshman has recorded six top-tens this year and also impressed at the Vivendi Seve Trophy earlier in September, earning Great Britain & Ireland three points from his five matches. This week could be his time to break the deadlock.