PGA European - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, October 1st through Sunday, October 4th
SITE: St. Andrews Golf Club (Old Course), St. Andrews, Scotland
         Carnoustie Golf Club (Championship Course), Carnoustie, Scotland
         Kingsbarns Golf Links, St. Andrews, Scotland
COURSE ARCHITECT: St. Andrews - Old Tom Morris (1863)
         Carnoustie - Allan Robertson (1842), Old Tom Morris (1867),
         James Braid (1926), James Wright (1937)
         Kingsbarns - Kyle Phillips (2000)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,279 (St. Andrews Golf Club)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 376 Yds10 - Par 4 380 Y
2 - Par 4 453 Yds11 - Par 3 174 Y
3 - Par 4 397 Yds12 - Par 4 348 Y
4 - Par 4 480 Yds13 - Par 4 465 Y
5 - Par 5 568 Yds14 - Par 5 618 Y
6 - Par 4 412 Yds15 - Par 4 456 Y
7 - Par 4 390 Yds16 - Par 4 423 Y
8 - Par 3 175 Yds17 - Par 4 455 Y
9 - Par 4 352 Yds18 - Par 4 357 Y
36 3,603 Yds36 3,676 Y
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,412 (Carnoustie Golf Club)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 406 Yds10 - Par 4 466 Y
2 - Par 4 463 Yds11 - Par 4 383 Y
3 - Par 4 358 Yds12 - Par 5 504 Y
4 - Par 4 412 Yds13 - Par 3 176 Y
5 - Par 4 415 Yds14 - Par 5 514 Y
6 - Par 5 578 Yds15 - Par 4 472 Y
7 - Par 4 410 Yds16 - Par 3 248 Y
8 - Par 3 183 Yds17 - Par 4 461 Y
9 - Par 4 478 Yds18 - Par 4 485 Y
36 3,703 Yds36 3,709 Y
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,160 (Kingsbarns Golf Links)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 414 Yds10 - Par 4 387 Y
2 - Par 3 200 Yds11 - Par 4 481 Y
3 - Par 5 516 Yds12 - Par 5 606 Y
4 - Par 4 415 Yds13 - Par 3 148 Y
5 - Par 4 426 Yds14 - Par 4 366 Y
6 - Par 4 337 Yds15 - Par 3 200 Y
7 - Par 4 455 Yds16 - Par 5 565 Y
8 - Par 3 168 Yds17 - Par 4 474 Y
9 - Par 5 558 Yds18 - Par 4 444 Y
36 3,489 Yds36 3,671 Y
Annual:  9th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Saturday -- 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et),
  Sunday -- 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et),
Defending Champion:  Robert Karlsson
Runner-Up:  Martin Kaymer, Ross Fisher
Tournament Record:  267 (Lee Westwood, 2003)
54-Hole Record:  199 (Luke Donald, 2004; Nick Dougherty, 2007)
36-Hole Record:  130 (David Howell, 2004)
Course Record:  62 (Curtis Strange, 1987; Brian Davis, 2003;
  Graeme McDowell, 2004 - St. Andrews)
  62 (Lee Westwood, 2003 - Kingsbarns)
  64 (Raphael Jacquelin, 2003; Peter O'Malley,
  Paul Lawrie, 2007 - Carnoustie)
Total Purse:  $5,000,000
Individual Breakdown:  Winner: $785,467; 2nd Place: 523,641; 3rd Place: 294,957
Team Breakdown:  Winner: $50,000; 2nd Place - 30,000; 3rd Place: 20,000
2008 Finish
Robert Karlsson *278Magnus A. Carlsson281
Martin Kaymer278Jose-Filipe Lima281
Ross Fisher278Five players at282
Jarmo Sandelin280
Anthony Wall281

* - Won in Playoff

Past Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008*Robert Karlsson (278) -- Martin Kaymer, Ross Fisher
2007Nick Dougherty (270) -- Justin Rose
2006Padraig Harrington (271) -- Anthony Wall, Bradley Dredge, Edward Loar
2005Colin Montgomerie (279) -- Kenneth Ferrie
2004*Stephen Gallacher (269) -- Graeme McDowell
2003Lee Westwood (267) -- Ernie Els
2002*Padraig Harrington (269) -- Eduardo Romero
2001Paul Lawrie (270) -- Ernie Els

* - Won in Playoff

NOTE:Formerly known as dunhill links championship (2001-05).

Top Contenders in the Field
Robert KarlssonT-35mcmcmcT-3T-15T-61Won
Ross Fisher---------------T-61T-49T-2
Jarmo Sandelinwdmcmcmcmcmcmc4th
Anthony WallmcmcmcT-34T-37T-2T-32T-5
Rory McIlroy------------------3rdT-8
Soren HansenmcmcT-58mcmcT-61T-8T-8
Lee WestwoodmcT-40WonT-5T-7T-8T-61T-8
Padraig HarringtonT-5WonT-35mcT-3WonT-8T-13
Nick DoughertyT-35mcT-35mcT-49T-27WonT-19
Thongchai Jaidee---mcmcmc---T-38---T-19
Graeme McDowell---mcmc2ndmcmcT-36T-31
G. Fdez-Castano---------mcmcT-61---T-36
Oliver Wilson------------mcT-32mcT-40
Alvaro Quiros---------------------T-40
Darren ClarkeT-24T-35T-4T-34T-7mcT-61T-48
Bradley DredgemcmcmcT-34T-23T-2mcT-60
David Howell3rdT-58T-6T-5T-37mcmcT-60
Paul LawrieWonT-40T-19mcmcT-15T-4mc
Ernie Els2ndwd2ndT-7---5thT-6mc
Niclas Fasth---T-40mc---T-41T-32T-10mc
Paul McGinleyT-9T-58mcT-63T-41T-61T-23mc
Soren KjeldsenT-43T-40---T-34T-13T-8mcmc
Colin MontgomerieT-5T-3mcT-23Wonmcmcmc
Chris Wood---------------------mc
Miguel A. JimenezT-29---mc------T-38T-15wd
Luke Donald---------T-3------T-23---
Brad Faxon------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Padraig Harrington
Darkhorse - Soren Hansen
Last Week's Pick to Win (Continental Europe) - Lost to Great Britain & Ireland
Last Week's Darkhorse (NA) - NA
The European Tour moves to the home of golf, Scotland, this week for the ninth annual Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Six of the top-10 players on the Race to Dubai will be competing this week. Martin Kaymer leads the Race to Dubai by 16,907 euros over Paul Casey. Rory McIlroy is in third place, 255,130 back of Kaymer. McIlroy is the only one of the three that is playing this week. Padraig Harrington is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 7 in the world.

Last year, Robert Karlsson made a birdie on the first playoff hole to beat Kaymer and Ross Fisher to win this event. Karlsson rolled in a four-foot birdie putt on St. Andrews' historic 18th green for his second win in four weeks and his ninth career title on the European Tour. Karlsson and Fisher -- already done their final rounds -- only made the playoff after Kaymer missed a four-foot par putt at the 17th hole in regulation to lose a one-shot lead. Kaymer was then unable to make a birdie at the wide-open 18th, settling for par and a four-under 68 that left him tied with the other players at 10-under 278. Karlsson and Fisher both closed with seven-under 65s in the final round. Karlsson's 65 was the lowest final round by a winner in tournament history.

Back at the 18th for the playoff, Fisher all but knocked himself out of contention after his tee shot found a watery grave in the burn. He would eventually miss a par putt. Karlsson and Kaymer, meanwhile, both hit the fairway with their tee shots. The playoff would be decided on their approaches. Kaymer knocked his to about 10 feet. He was left with a slight break on the downhiller, and he missed it on the edge of the cup. After Karlsson stuck his approach inside five feet, he calmly rolled in the birdie putt for the win. The victory moved Karlsson to the top of the European Tour Order of Merit as the circuit's leading money winner, which is where he ended the year.

Karlsson has been sidelined this year due to an eye injury. He will be playing in a stroke-play event for the first time since the European Open in May. Karlsson played last week at The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros, where he won one point for the European team.

In 2007, nearly three years after he broke through for his first European Tour victory, former amateur star and Nick Faldo protege, Nick Dougherty, finally claimed win No. 2 when he captured this event. Dougherty fired rounds of 67-66-66-71 to finish at 18-under-par 270 for a two-shot win over Justin Rose. Dougherty matched the 54-hole record of 199 set by Luke Donald in 2004. He also became the youngest winner in the event's history at 25 years and 136 days old. Dougherty's first win came on January 30, 2005, at the Caltex Masters in Singapore when he was 22 years old.

In 2006, Harrington carded a four-under 68 in the final round and ran away with his second Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title. Harrington finished at 16-under-par 271, five clear of the field. The Irishman, who also won this title in 2002, was the only player in the field to card four rounds in the 60s.

The 2006 event was the first time that the tournament was decided by more than one stroke. Paul Lawrie defeated Ernie Els by one shot in 2001, Westwood defeated Els by one shot in 2003 and Colin Montgomerie defeated Kenneth Ferrie by one shot in 2005. In 2002, Harrington defeated Eduardo Romero in a playoff and Stephen Gallacher defeated Graeme McDowell in a playoff in 2004.

The championship will be played over 72 holes of stroke play with one 18-hole round being played each day. The courses in the rotation are Carnoustie, the Old Course at St. Andrews and Kingsbarns. Professionals and amateurs are taking part in the 2009 event. Played in teams of two, comprising of one professional and one amateur, the competitors will play each of the three courses in rotation over the first three days with the final round being played over the Old Course at St. Andrews. After three rounds, the field will be reduced to the top-60 professionals and those tying for 60th place and the leading 20 teams. There will be two competitions running concurrently: An individual tournament for the professionals and a team competition which will comprise of the lower of the professionals and his amateur partner's score at each hole. Amateur men must have a recognized handicap of 18 or better that is verified by the player's home club. Amateur ladies must have a handicap of 24 or better.

Celebrities expected to play this week are: Hugh Grant, Marcus Allen, George Lopez, Huey Lewis, Tim Henman and Greg Kinnear.

This tournament carries on the tradition of excellence set by the Alfred Dunhill Cup during the 16 years that it was played over the Old Course at St. Andrews, promising to attract leading names in golf, entertainment and business to share in the celebration of Links Golf at its best.

There have been three albatrosses made at this event. Lee Westwood double- eagled the ninth hole at Kingsbarns in the third round in 2003, Steen Tinning made a deuce at the third hole at Kingsbarns during the third round in 2003 and Montgomerie made the first double-eagle at the third hole in the second round at Kingsbarns in 2002. When Westwood and Tinning made double-eagles in 2003 in the third round, it marked the first time in European Tour history that two albatrosses were made in the same round of the same event. There have also been seven aces made in tournament history. Three were made in 2002 by James Kingston, Anders Forsbrand and Raphael Jacquelin, while Henrik Bjornstad aced the 13th hole during round one at Carnoustie in 2003. In 2005, Garry Houston and Paul Eales both aced the second hole at Kingsbarns in the first round. In 2008, Unho Park aced the eighth hole at Kingsbarns in the second round.

The European Tour travels to Spain next week for the Madrid Masters, where Charl Schwartzel captured last year's event.

09/29 15:16:03 ET

As of September 29, 2009, at 03:16 PM ET
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