Simon Dyson lifted the Dunhill Links Championship trophy yesterday at St Andrews. Having reached the turn at the Old Course in a thrilling six-under-par 30, the former Walker Cup man ended up winning by three from Oliver Wilson and Rory McIlroy. Both Dyson and Wilson will now join McIlroy at the Volvo World Match Play at Finca Cortesin in Spain. After a week in which Saturday's third round was lost in 50mph gusts, yesterday was a day for peeling off the sweaters and reeling off the birdies. The 31-year-old Dyson, who was one shot behind Luke Donald overnight, was off to the fastest start, notching four birdies in his first five holes. When it came to the seventh, he holed a 12-footer to bag another.
By the ninth, as he went tearing after a drive that finished in the left rough, he had the look of one who was finding it all too hot to handle. However, though his chip was not the best, he only just failed with the 15-footer he needed for an outward 29. Coming home, he gathered himself at the 10th and 11th before making a 12-footer at the 12th to go to 21 under and four clear of the quartet of McIlroy, Wilson, Richie Ramsay and Rafael Cabrera-Bello. McIlroy made it to 18-under down the long 14th but by this stage, Dyson's main opponent was the Old Course's notorious finishing stretch. He dropped a shot at 17th but, when it came to the last, he hit well left from the tee en route to the safest of fours and a 66.
Paul McGinley, who had Dyson in his winning side in the recent Vivendi Trophy, said yesterday that: "He's heading towards a Ryder Cup place." firstname.lastname@example.org