The ever popular Dunhill Links Championship will benefit this week from the involvement of nine of the successful European Ryder Cup team as well as Captain Colin Montgomerie and vice captains , Darren Clarke , Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn .
St Andrews , Carnoustie and Kingsbarns will play host to professionals and amateurs alike in this unique celebrity pro-am event which starts at 9am Thursday .
Lee Westwood is bookies favourite for the event after returning to the Ryder Cup after a seven week break in great form and 12lb lighter after staying off alcohol for a month .
Westwood will become World Number 1 if he finishes first or second in the Dunhill and the relaxed format that sees Westwood playing with manager and big punter Chubby Chandler will suit the 37 year old Englishman .
Westwood also has a great record around St Andrews including second place in the 2010 Open Championship . Betfred and Sportingbet both offer 12/1 Westwood and he is a strong each way bet .
Many of the European Ryder Cup team can not be fancied to win this as they will be exhausted after four intense days of golf and the following celebration parties . Players who should be avoided include Martin Kaymer , Graeme McDowell , Ross Fisher , Padraig Harrington and the Molinari brothers .
Rory McIlroy has prodigious talent and youth on his side and can recover from an overdose of Jagerbombs to play a leading role in the Dunhill Championship . The12/1 about McIlroy with 888Sport should be taken as he loves links golf and the weather forecast for the area is pretty good for the weekend . McIlroy was 16 under par for three rounds in the Open Championship but was blown off the course the day the winds really blew .
Expect South African Retief Goosen also to perform well at odds of 18/1 but Westwood is the best bet to land the $800 000 winner’s cheque and be crowned World Numbler 1 .