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By David John Last updated: 8th October 2010


Martin Kaymer can recover from his Ryder Cup singles defeat with victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, says Dave John.

Kaymer - can bounce back from singles thrashing.

Kaymer - can bounce back from singles thrashing.

Punters have plenty to weigh up this week in Scotland following the post-Ryder Cup euphoria at Celtic Manor.

Nine of the 12 from Europe's winning side plus captain Colin Montgomerie and three of his vice-captains will tee off at the lucrative Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and gauging how prepared they will be is tricky to say the least.

Can we expect them to all be drained physically and mentally after the nailbiting win over the USA?

Or will the adrenalin still be pumping through the veins long enough to carry one or more into contention come Sunday?

Bear in mind as well this is a fun but draining four days with the pro-am element making rounds over the three different venues at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns up to and over five hours in duration.

In an attempt to avoid getting tied in knots as to who is likely to be ready to go, the pick of the Ryder Cuppers look to be Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer.

Here is my thinking.

In terms of fallout from earlier in the week, both are in their 20s and it seems reasonable to expect them to cope with the physical demands over the next four days.

I also believe Kaymer might have something to prove now after his poor effort against Dustin Johnson in Monday's singles.

He never looked for one moment like winning his match after struggling down the first hole and having been unbeaten up to that point, must have felt a fair amount of embarrassment to be on the wrong end of a 6&4 drubbing.

He remains the man to catch in the Race To Dubai and a third straight win on the European Tour would strengthen his position further - so in terms of the bigger picture concerning the season overall, Kaymer has plenty to focus on this week.

He missed this event 12 months ago through injury but was runner-up with Ross Fisher behind Robert Karlsson in 2008 so you can't rule him out in terms of having no course form.

There is no need to trawl out McIlroy's record at St Andrews again and we could well have been talking about the Open champion but for a horrible second round at the course in July.

He has yet to finish worse than T8 in three attempts in this tournament and his other two efforts have seen him reach the frame.

He absolutely thrived at the Ryder Cup and I agree with the comments of vice-captain Darren Clarke that he seemed to grow up immensely over the four days and now looks to be developing the mental side of his game to go along with the rare physical attributes he possesses.

I had a check back at my 2009 preview for this event and tipped McIlroy at 13/1 - there is no doubt he has improved more than a point in the betting so gets the verdict for another strong assault on the title.

It is big guns all the way this week and Ernie Els is a tempting price at 20/1.

Unlike many of the leading contenders, Els has spent the last few days watching the Ryder Cup with the rest of us and will have been delighted by the outcome as he admits to always cheering on the Europeans.

He completed his US Tour schedule with a T7 at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, closing out with a 65.

He admits that it was only in the final round that he got the putter going after hitting the ball well all week but it was all far too late in terms of actually winning the tournament.

Els has enjoyed a good 2010 with two wins in Florida and his recent induction into the Golf Hall of Fame has put the icing on the cake.

He is a regular in this event so usually goes off at half his current odds and with so much of the spotlight on the Ryder Cup players, he could just sneak in under the radar a little bit.

Five top sevens in Fife and his vast knowlege of links golf speaks for itself so it could finally be the year he adds this prestigious tournament to his glittering CV.


3pts win Martin Kaymer at 16/1 (Stan James, Sky Bet). Something to prove after singles debacle and can extend Race To Dubai lead.

3pts win Rory McIlroy at 12/1 (Hills, Coral, Ladbrokes). Big four days at Celtic Manor and can continue his love affait with this event.

1pt e.w. Ernie Els at 20/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5 general). Could have been overlooked in the betting and shouldn't be far away.

  • Preview posted at 0905BST on 06/10/2010.

    David John

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