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Alfred Dunhill Links Championship predictions: Fleetwood to shine in blustery Scotland
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James Mason
Spotlight
Tommy Fleetwood has shown good form in Scotland this year with tied-fourth finishes at both the Scottish Open and The Open
Tommy Fleetwood has shown good form in Scotland this year with tied-fourth finishes at both the Scottish Open and The Open

The DP World Tour heads back to the UK this week for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland and a star-studded field will be vying for glory north of the border in this unique three-course event. 

Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, recently-crowned BMW PGA champion Shane Lowry and two-time Alfred Dunhill winner Tyrrell Hatton are just four of the big names involved this week. 

American Billy Horschel has made the trip across the pond following last week's team success at the Presidents Cup, while 2022 Italian Open champion Robert MacIntyre returns to home soil as he bids for a second victory in quick succession. 

Unique format makes for great viewing

As always is the case with the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, there will be two separate competitions over the course of the four days — an individual tournament for the professionals and a Team Championship in which the pros are paired with amateur golfers. 

Over the first three days, play will be held in rotation at the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns before a 54-hole cut is made, with the 60 leading professionals and ties competing over the final 18 holes at the Old Course, along with the 20 lowest scoring pro-am teams. 

Conditions to suit Fleetwood

The weather forecast this week is likely to make scoring difficult with strong winds predicted for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while there is also the chance of seeing rain on the opening two days. 

When the winds pick up, a player that has a low ball-flight and can control their ball often becomes crucial to success, and that is why Tommy Fleetwood looks like a solid option to lift the trophy for the first time. 

The Englishman has often produced his best performances in difficult conditions, with back-to-back tied-fourth finishes coming at the Scottish Open and The 150th Open at St Andrews in July this year. 

World number 28 Fleetwood, who won the first of his five DP World Tour titles in Scotland, has six top-10 finishes in this event from 10 appearances and it would be no surprise to see him put in another bold showing. 

Hatton aiming for history

Tyrrell Hatton is looking to become the first three-time winner of this event
Tyrrell Hatton is looking to become the first three-time winner of this event

There has never been a three-time winner of this tournament but there is a chance that statistic could change on Sunday, with two-time champion Tyrrell Hatton arriving in good form and eager to etch his name in the history books. 

With qualification for Ryder Cup 2023 having started, the Englishman will also be hoping to boost his position in the standings and he returns to an event he won in both 2016 and 2017, while he also ended up second in 2018 and last year. 

Hatton handles blustery conditions well, his short game remains one of the best around and he was eighth on his last outing at the Italian Open, so his confidence is high and he is refreshed after swerving last week's trip to France. 

Lewis to continue revival

Tom Lewis was once ranked in the top 50 of the world but a loss of form over the past couple of years has seen him slip down to his current position of 600. 

However, the Englishman, who is a two-time Portugal Masters champion, has shown signs of life recently with back-to-back top-20 finishes at the Made In HimmerLand and the Italian Open. 

The 31-year-old won the 2011 St Andrews Links Trophy (amateur win) and he has a liking for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, having finished third in 2013, 10th in 2018 and fifth in 2019. 

Lewis can continue his recent resurgence and start making his way back up the world rankings with a solid showing in Scotland.

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