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European Tour: Who are the leading exponents of British links golf?

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship 2019
Kingsbarns: One of three venues used for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
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Andy Swales selects nine players whose history on British links suggest they will tee-up in Scotland with an excellent chance of winning the Alfred Dunhill Championship ...

"Despite being a European Tour rookie, Robert MacIntyre has already made a name for himself. He's quickly moved inside the world's top 100, helped greatly by his podium finish at Hillside and tie-for-sixth at The Open in July."

Next week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews will be the fifth tournament of the 2019 European Tour year to be staged on a British Isles seaside course.

While five is not a huge number in itself, it does represent an increase from recent years.

There was a time, just over a decade or so ago, when it was not unusual for The Open to be the only European Tour event to be staged at a British links course during the summer months.

Nowadays, the month of July has been taken over by coastal venues, with the lucrative Irish and Scottish opens providing valuable links practice for those competing at The Open Championship.

The Alfred Dunhill tournament has been a huge autumn hit since 2001 while, earlier this year, the Betfred British Masters was staged at Hillside on the Southport coast.

So, looking ahead to St Andrews, the host venue for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, here are nine players whose past history at British coastal courses make them potential candidates to triumph in Fife in just a few days time.

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Rafael Cabrera-Bello: The one-time promising amateur is nowadays one of Europe's most experienced and solid performers. Winner of the Scottish Open in 2017.

Tony Finau: Has quickly adjusted to the requirements of links golf. The American stood on the podium at Royal Portrush this July, his second straight top-10 from four Open starts.

Tommy Fleetwood: The world No 16 rarely plays poorly on a links. Was runner-up to Shane Lowry at Portrush two months ago and has twice finished second at St Andrews.

Tyrrell Hatton: No one enjoys the Alfred Dunhill more than the Englishman. His last three starts in this event reads: Won-Won-2nd. Has also been runner-up in the Scottish Open.

Robert MacIntyre: Despite being a European Tour rookie, the young Scot has already made a name for himself. He's quickly moved inside the world's top 100, helped greatly by his podium finish at Hillside and tie-for-sixth at The Open in July. Will enjoy plenty of home support on the east coast.

Andrea Pavan: Is one of the European Tour's most improved players of the past couple of seasons. During the last 19 months the Italian has risen more than 650 positions up the World Ranking from outside the top 750. Four of his last six starts on links have yielded top-20 finishes.

Eddie Pepperell: Despite a poor showing at this year's Open Championship, his fondness for links golf cannot be questioned.

Jon Rahm: The world No 6 is a two-time winner on British Isles links courses and has shown excellent form throughout 2019.

Bernd Wiesberger: Returned to the winners' circle earlier this season, with a brace of successes in less than two months. He followed-up a second-place finish in Ireland, with victory in Scotland seven days later.

Most Prolific Performers on British Links (since July 1st, 2014)


In an attempt to try and rank players since January 1st, 2014, here is an arbitrary points system which analyses results on British Isles links. The points system is as follows:

The Open (2014-19): Won - 25pts; 2nd-3rd - 20; 4th-6th - 15; 7th-10th - 10; 11th-15th - 5; 16th-25th - 3

Other Links Events (2014-19): Won - 12pts; 2nd-3rd - 10; 4th-6th - 8; 7th-10th - 5; 11th-15th - 3; 16th-25th - 2

Tyrell Hatton watches shot 1280.jpg

Top 15 Points Scorers


100: Tyrrell Hatton
88: Rory McIlroy
72: Tommy Fleetwood
69: Justin Rose
68: Rickie Fowler
66: Eddie Pepperell
62: Brooks Koepka
59: Shane Lowry
54: Danny Willett
53: Jordan Spieth
51: Andy Sullivan
50: Matt Kuchar
50: Rafael Cabrera-Bello
50: Marc Leishman
50: Sergio Garcia

Click here to view longer list of Europe's leading links points scorers

Most Top 10s (Last Five Years)


9: Tyrrell Hatton
7: Eddie Pepperell
7: Richie Ramsay
6: Tommy Fleetwood
6: Andy Sullivan
6: Brooks Koepka
5: Bernd Wiesberger
5: Rafael Cabrera-Bello
5: Marc Warren
5: Soren Kjeldsen

Most Top 25s (Last Five Years)


12: Tommy Fleetwood
11: Tyrrell Hatton
8: Andy Sullivan
8: Richie Ramsay
7: Soren Kjeldsen
7: Eddie Pepperell
7: Alex Noren
7: Brooks Koepka
7: Matthew Fitzpatrick
7: Chris Wood

Lowest Links Stroke Averages


Since January 1st, 2017
Average.........(Rounds)
68.86: Jon Rahm (22)
69.07: Robert MacIntyre (14)
69.15: Justin Rose (20)
69.16: Tommy Fleetwood (32)
69.21: Eddie Pepperell (34)
69.25: Jordan Spieth (12)
69.25: Victor Perez (12)
69.36: Andrea Pavan (22)
69.42: Matt Kuchar (26)
69.45: Rickie Fowler (22)
69.56: Tyrrell Hatton (36)
69.66: Martin Kaymer (29)
69.68: Rafael Cabrera-Bello (28)
69.70: Henrik Stenson (20)
69.73: Gonzalo F`dez-Castano (22)
69.74: Oliver Fisher (34)
69.79: Lee Slattery (29)
69.81: Charley Hoffman (16)
69.83: Masahiro Kawamura (12)
69.86: Ian Poulter (28)
Min. No. of Rounds = 12

Click here to view longer list of links stroke averages (see page three)

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive


LAST 12 RESULTS ON BRITISH ISLES LINKS


Key to course guide in table below:
1 - Royal Portrush; 2 - The Renaissance Club; 3 - Lahinch; 4 - Hillside; 5 - St Andrews; 6 - Carnoustie; 7 - Gullane; 8 - Ballyliffen; 9 - St Andrews; 10 - Royal Birkdale; 11 - Dundonald; 12 - Portstewart.

Note: Not all listed players entered for Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Brooks Koepka 4 7 39 6
Rory McIlroy MC 34 2 28 63 4 MC MC
Dustin Johnson 51 MC 54
Justin Rose 20 2 9 54 4
Justin Thomas 11 9 MC MC
Jon Rahm 11 1 MC 4 44 1
Patrick Cantlay 41 12
Tiger Woods MC 6
Xander Schauffele 41 2 20
Bryson DeChambeau MC 51 MC
Francesco Molinari 11 1 MC
Tony Finau 3 10 9 27
Tommy Fleetwood 2 23 8 2 12 25 27 10
Paul Casey 57 51 11
Adam Scott MC 17 22 35
Webb Simpson 30 12 37
Patrick Reed 10 28 23 MC MC
Gary Woodland MC 67 70
Rickie Fowler 6 MC 28 6 22 9
Matt Kuchar 41 20 28 9 MC 2 4
Shane Lowry 1 34 MC MC 28 25 MC 20
Louis Oosthuizen 20 46 32 28 MC
Jason Day MC 17 27
Marc Leishman MC 60 6
Bubba Watson 51 MC 27
Hideki Matsuyama MC MC MC 14 14
Chez Reavie MC MC
Kevin Kisner 30 MC 2 54
Matthew Fitzpatrick 20 14 MC MC 14 MC 15 44 MC 54
Matt Wallace 51 14 55 2 28 MC MC MC 59 MC MC
Henrik Stenson 20 4 35 11 26
Ian Poulter MC 14 41 MC 30 14 9 42
Jordan Spieth 20 9 1
Kevin Na 51 44
Bernd Wiesberger 32 1 2 70 74 51
Billy Horschel MC MC
Abraham Ancer MC 19 MC
Brandt Snedeker MC MC
Keegan Bradley MC 79
Phil Mickelson MC 24 MC MC
Rafael Cabrera-Bello MC 9 4 74 MC MC 4 1 MC
Eddie Pepperell 71 43 4 2 44 6 2 MC 7
Sergio Garcia 67 MC 37
Andrew Putnam 32 4
Cameron Smith 20 78 42 MC
Tyrrell Hatton 6 14 MC 35 2 51 9 1 MC MC MC
Jim Furyk 63
Byeong Hun An 32 51 MC MC 51
Alex Noren 11 17 6 MC
Hao-Tong Li MC MC 15 5 39 23 MC 3 50 36
CT Pan MC MC
Lucas Bjerregaard 16 MC MC 1 MC MC MC 61 MC
Justin Harding 41 MC MC
Lee Westwood 4 55 23 35 61 32 19 MC 27 MC
Jazz Janewattananond MC MC
Danny Willett 6 MC 24 19 6 76 Ret
Erik Van Rooyen 20 14 MC MC 17 MC 4
Tom Lewis 11 43 61 53 10 47 MC
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 32 MC* 75 42 MC 15 MC MC
Andrea Pavan MC 4 MC 15 5 14 MC
Jorge Campillo MC MC* 7 MC MC 32 3 MC 26 MC
Thomas Pieters 67 20 MC 60 28 6 40 44 MC
Branden Grace 51 MC 55 MC 47 6 15
Russell Knox 41 MC 31 MC 49 1 MC MC
Mike Lorenzo-Vera MC 28 9 MC MC MC 56 62 MC
Joost Luiten 32 MC MC 8 36 44 54
Robert MacIntyre 6 MC 41 2
Benjamin Hebert 41 2 55 MC 32 49 28 63 45 8
Adri Arnaus MC 15 MC
Guido Migliozzi 28 MC 35
Martin Kaymer 20 9 8 MC MC MC 36 37 MC
Graeme McDowell 57 MC MC MC 63 40 15 19 MC
Romain Langasque 63 3 MC MC MC MC 58
Sebastian Soderberg MC 41 MC
Mikko Korhonen 63 48 MC MC
Ryan Fox 16 MC MC MC 24 39 6 2 MC MC 4 4
Adrian Otaegui MC 20 MC MC MC MC 28 MC 19 20
Alexander Bjork MC 62 50 MC MC 19 14 MC MC 35 MC
JC Ritchie MC
Andy Sullivan MC 28 2 MC 10 MC MC 6 70 9 20
Kurt Kitayama MC 43 MC
Marcus Kinhult 48 61 1 20 61 MC
Paul Waring 63 48 7 6 MC 72 MC MC 51 MC
Christiaan Bezuidenhout MC 34 MC MC 48 42 19 36
Matthias Schwab MC MC 42 10 MC MC
Julian Suri 55 MC 28 MC 27 MC MC
Lucas Herbert 62 55 35 7 51
Jordan Smith MC MC 6 32 MC 32 MC MC 58 20
Jordan L Smith MC MC 6 32 MC 32 MC MC 58 20
David Lipsky MC MC MC MC MC MC MC MC MC
Thomas Detry 43 23 15 48 64 MC MC MC 48
Oliver Wilson MC 69 19 8 MC
Richard Sterne MC MC 34 58 MC 14 37 59 19 MC
Aaron Rai MC MC MC MC 9 37 25
Victor Perez 28 61 15
Sean Crocker 55 MC 42 47
Ross Fisher MC MC 15 32 39 MC 2 44 35
Masahiro Kawamura 55 46 39
Alexander Levy MC MC MC MC 32 MC 55 MC 7 MC 26 MC
Dean Burmester MC* MC 42 MC 9 28 MC MC 58
Sam Horsfield MC MC 74 MC 23 24
Kalle Samooja 20 MC MC
Gavin Green MC 9 15 MC 61 19 MC
Chris Paisley 34 41 MC 24 MC MC MC MC MC
Pablo Larrazabal 72 MC 8 56 MC 49 MC MC MC MC
Jaco Ahlers MC 47
Jason Scrivener MC MC 58 24 MC MC 47 35 MC
Andrew Johnston MC 4 MC 42 27 19 MC
Brandon Stone MC 34 34 MC 10 61 1 69 15 70 MC MC
Scott Hend MC MC 35 MC 14 MC MC 54 MC 20
Nacho Elvira 48 MC 42 10 MC 49 MC MC MC
Joachim B Hansen MC MC MC
Jake McLeod MC MC MC MC 48
John Catlin MC
Wade Ormsby MC 19 MC MC MC 49 MC MC 14
Gaganjeet Bhullar MC MC 25
Louis De Jager 68 MC MC MC
Chris Wood MC MC MC MC 28 MC 14 14 MC
Alvaro Quiros MC MC Wd MC MC MC MC MC MC
Paul Dunne MC MC 70 MC 67 MC 40 7 26 54
Darren Fichardt 48 MC MC 48 42 40 67 MC MC MC
Fabrizio Zanotti 55 MC 53 MC MC MC MC MC MC 30
Zander Lombard MC MC 9 MC MC 67 MC 6 MC
Shubhankar Sharma 51 34 MC MC 51 MC MC
George Coetzee 9 34 MC MC MC MC 24 47 Ret MC
Dimitrios Papadatos MC 15
David Law MC MC 53
Robert Rock MC MC 4 25 20 49 28 4 9 MC
Scott Jamieson 26 MC 58 MC MC MC 40 MC MC 14
Matthew Jordan 15 32
Grant Forrest 43 14 68 MC MC
Lorenzo Gagli 14 55 75 55 MC
Maximilian Kieffer MC MC 58 MC MC MC MC 45 MC
Stephen Gallacher MC MC MC 10 9 MC 12 45 36
David Drysdale MC* MC MC MC MC 28 15 27 MC 4
Matthew Southgate MC MC MC MC 67 23 59 MC 6 MC 2
Jack Singh Brar 62 50 53 MC
Joakim Lagergren MC 31 MC MC 23 12 12 MC MC
Kim Koivu Wd MC MC MC
Jeff Winther 28 64 MC MC MC
Niklas Lemke MC 34 8
Padraig Harrington MC MC 50 7 MC MC MC MC MC 4 42
Andres Romero 23 74 42
Nino Bertasio 72 4 27 23 MC MC MC 15 MC MC
Edoardo Molinari 34 9 30 24 MC MC MC MC MC
Renato Paratore 28 MC 8 32 MC 40 MC 61 MC
Ashley Chesters MC* MC 42 44 MC 14 36 43 20
Soren Kjeldsen MC MC 15 48 42 59 37 9 62
Anton Karlsson MC 46 MC
Lee Slattery 9 27 MC 20 MC MC MC 9 30
Ernie Els 32 48 MC MC MC 61
Thomas Aiken 55 MC MC MC 40 MC 32 MC
Nicolas Colsaerts 69 MC 42 10 MC 42 19 25 19 MC
Hideto Tanihara 62 MC MC MC MC 58 MC MC 10
Liam Johnston MC 64 42 MC 47
Matthieu Pavon MC MC MC 20 42 10 MC MC 3 42
Tapio Pulkkanen MC MC MC 4 MC MC
Clement Sordet MC 55 MC 28 58 MC
Richard McEvoy MC 64 53 MC
Victor Dubuisson MC MC 23 3 MC MC
Oliver Fisher 48 34 35 32 32 28 7 MC 10
Justin Walters MC MC MC MC 23 MC MC MC MC
Callum Shinkwin 41 MC MC MC MC MC MC 2 30
Romain Wattel 20 MC MC MC MC 28 15 26 MC
Haydn Porteous 34 MC 25 MC MC 49 15 MC 36
Richie Ramsay 34 MC 5 MC MC 40 Wd 22 35 2
Dave Horsey 34 MC 30 MC MC 40 36 MC 43 48
Gonzalo F`dez-Castano MC* 19 25 MC 32 37
Hugo Leon 30
Bernd Ritthammer MC 25 15 MC
Stuart Manley 55 MC 58 MC MC MC MC
Jamie Donaldson 9 MC 73 MC MC MC MC Wd
Thongchai Jaidee MC MC 35 32 32 49 MC 27 MC MC
Luke Donald MC 7 58
Bradley Dredge 62 50 MC MC MC 69 25 MC 13
Jacques Kruyswijk MC 34 MC MC MC MC MC
Yusaku Miyazato MC MC MC 47 Wd 14 MC
Trevor Immelman MC* MC 44 3 Dq MC MC
Marcus Fraser 10 Ret Dq MC 36
Robert Karlsson MC 27 58 MC 49 MC MC 45 30
Max Schmitt 48 41 MC
Julien Guerrier 32 55 64
Steven Brown MC MC 58 MC 32 MC
Kristoffer Reitan MC MC MC
Pedro Figueiredo MC MC 58
Thomas Bjorn Ret MC MC 59 MC 15 MC
Jens Dantorp 69 MC 58 MC MC 3 76
Rikard Karlberg MC MC MC 54
Raphael Jacquelin MC MC 76 MC MC 10 47 MC MC
Ricardo Gouveia MC MC MC MC 32 64 36 55 MC
Jeung-Hun Wang MC MC MC MC 49 36 MC MC MC
Michael Hoey 30 MC 30
James Morrison MC MC MC 56 32 49 25 MC MC
Sam Brazel MC 50 MC MC MC MC MC 35 62
Nicolai Hojgaard MC
David Howell MC MC 42 MC MC MC MC 64 MC
Simon Dyson MC MC MC 64

Andy Swales,

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