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McDowell can edge Karlsson as wind whips St Andrews

Fife forecast for Friday is more welcoming

Rory McIlroy is playing in his final event of the year
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Sky Sports Golf/Main Event, 1pm Thursday
Starts 9am

Rory McIlroy starts his quest for a first Dunhill Links Championship title at 9.22am, playing alongside his father Gerry in the popular pro-am, and they open the three-course event at a breezy St Andrews.

The 6-1 favourite will be looking to make a decent start at the Home of Golf, before tackling Carnoustie, traditionally the toughest track, in calmer conditions on Friday. McIlroy will then face Kingsbarns on Saturday, before the cut-makers assemble at St Andrews for the final round.

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First-round twoball punters should consider Graeme McDowell for his 9.44am meeting with Robert Karlsson. With wind expected to be whipping across St Andrews, making the course more challenging than normal, grinders such as McDowell should thrive.

The 2010 US Open champion, partnering Sir Anthony McCoy, grew up in Portrush and knows how to handle a breeze.

Karlsson emerged from a long slump to play well at Close House last week, but the lanky Swede could be blown straight back into the golfing wilderness.

G McDowell to win twoball
1pt 10-11 BoyleSports

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The lanky Swede could be blown straight back into the golfing wilderness
E.W. Terms
Sky bet