Alex Fitzpatrick can ride the Ryder Cup wave
Linksland return can inspire Matthew Jordan
Ideal spot for John Gough to make a statement
So often derided, the DP World Tour is riding a terrific wave at the moment.
From the literal heights of Crans-sur-Sierre in the Swiss Alps to the Home of Golf in Scotland via a trio of Ryder Cup venues (The K Club, Wentworth and Le Golf National) and the Ryder Cup itself in Rome.
Not a bad six week stretch really, especially given Europe's tremendous performance in the Italian capital.
This week's title has prestige attached to it yet it is also fair to say that it is something of an after-party.
In fact, it may or may not be worth noting that, since Martin Kaymer won in 2010, no Ryder Cup competitor has rocked up to this event a week later and lifted the trophy.
Weirdly, of course, that was the year the trans-Atlantic tussle ran into Monday so he had even less time to prepare for this three course test.
Plenty of Ryder Cuppers have been second after the big week, so it's far from impossible to recover from hangover - it's just been a while since they actually triumphed.
It might, of course, all a bit of a moot point for this column, given the quest to find each way value largely steers us away from the top of the market, but it's worth considering.
The trio of host includes the modern links at Kingsbarns, a popular and playable Kyle Phillips design that sweeps up and down the Fife coast south of St Andrews.
In the opposite direction - literally and in golfing terms - is Carnoustie
It is north of Fife, across the Tay estuary beyond Dundee and it is the toughest examination of the three. If the weather is bleaker on any of the first three days the golfer to playing there will be somewhat handicapped.
The Old Course completes the set, used pre-cut and also for the final round, and it is an easier proposition than in the Open.
There have been 21 renewals of the event. 14 have been won by British or Irish golfers, another three by Scandinavians, one by a German (Kaymer) and one by a Frenchman (Victor Perez who lived in Dundee and practiced in St Andrews).
A caddie said to me earlier this year that northern Europeans have an advantage in their own neck of the woods which works as a kind of flipside to those who like playing in the thin air of altitude.
"The wind here," he said, "is not just cold but heavier than in southern Europe and the southern hemisphere."
Just two golfers have defied that factor in this event: South Africa's Branden Grace (who was in the form of his life and had just spent two weeks playing a version of links golf back home) and New Zealand's Ryan Fox (who has a good record on Irish links).
The Scottish boys in the media centre on Sunday night in Rome were keen to know how many of Luke Donald's champions would be making the journey to Fife this week and the answer was just three.
The first, Tommy Fleetwood, has done all but win the event and is a short price to finally win it off last week's good vibes. Second favourite Matt Fitzpatrick and Robert MacIntyre complete the trio and given both have admitted to not much liking the Old Course I'll happily swerve them.
I'm not venturing far, however, in making Matt's brother Alex the first pick.
This tournament has provided young golfers who have recently joined the pro ranks a timely boost in the past and while Fitzpatrick has more pro experience than this week's third pick (see below) he can also take advantage.
He's had a fine year, both on the second tier (where he has claimed a win) and the first tier.
Indeed, he sits 76th on the Race to Dubai from just 10 starts, the highlights of which are T17th in the Open, second in the World Invitational and fifth in the European Masters.
He finished T28th in this event last year after carding a first round 73 that left him way back T146th.
He can take another step forward this week with added confidence and off the back of the thrill of being in Rome to watch his brother help win the Ryder Cup.
Englishman Matthew Jordan must have been very excited at the start of 2023, aware that the Open was heading to his home course Royal Liverpool.
He was a late qualifier for the championship but absolutely made the most of the week, riding the wave of local excitement to finish tenth.
He's an improving and solid performer at this level who, when he turned professional, played his best golf on the linksland.
He grabbed the first round lead at Hillside in 2019 on invite and the same year was again ahead, this time after 36 holes, in the Dunhill Links before landing fifth.
He's laboured a little in the wake of that first major championship top 10 but a return to seaside golf might easily prompt a bounce back buoyed by good memories of the seaside form but this year and in this championship.
We'll complete the team with a punt on Englishman John Gough who turned pro last month off the back of an excellent amateur career.
A double winner in the US, he also claimed big titles in Australia, Spain and Ireland, plus the English Amateur and the Lytham Trophy.
He's a fine performer on the linksland and his farewell to the unpaid ranks came in last month's Walker Cup when he went head-to-head with the World No. 1 Gordon Sargent and only lost out because of one poor drive (at 17).
He's playing on invitations at the moment and back in July he found himself bang in-contention at the halfway stage of the British Masters at The Belfry (just one shot off the lead).
Two weeks ago he thrashed a fine third round of 66 to sit T12th in the Open de Frace at 54 holes.
He's threatened to place and on the linksland he has the potential to maintain his quest to do so.
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