Rory McIlroy is halfway to closing out his calendar year strong. The 28-year-old Northern Irishman announced last week’s British Masters and this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will round out his schedule before taking time off from competition until January.
McIlroy was in the mix to win last week at Close House. He was unable to wring as many birdies as he’d have liked in the first two rounds, but he was firing on all cylinders to post 64-63 on the weekend to finish solo secnd at 17-under 263 for the tournament. That’s his lowest 72-hole score and second lowest in relation to par this year (-18/2nd place, BMW SA Open). It took a Sunday 61 from Paul Dunne to keep McIlroy from earning his first worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship.
This week is McIlroy’s first Alfred Dunhill Links start since 2014, when he tied for second. He’s played the role of bridesmaid at this tournament. His resume also includes a second in 2011, T53 in 2010, T2 in 2009, MC 2008 and third in 2007.
Not only has McIlroy shown he’s comfortable in a pro-am style tournament, but he should be in high spirits playing alongside his father, Gerry, this week. The two were together in 2014.
The weather looks to be cool, not too breezy and dry. I expect McIlroy to hit tons of greens this week and stretch his sub-70 streak to eight. There aren’t many tournaments where he’s not a favorite to grab the trophy, so I felt no need to get cute with my top pick this week.
The Alfred Dunhill Links is one of the most entertaining events on the European Tour schedule, highlighting some of the world’s best courses. What are you looking forward to the most this week?