McIlroy heads strong field at Dunhill Links Championship

Rory McIlroy is heading to Carnoustie.
Rory McIlroy is heading to Carnoustie.

World No.1 Rory McIlroy is to play in next month’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in a strong field which includes current US Open champion Martin Kaymer.

The two players have had brilliant summers. McIlroy won back-to-back Major Championships at The Open at Hoylake and the US PGA at Valhalla, plus the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, while Kaymer also won The Players Championship at Sawgrass. This high-powered clash between two of the super stars of European golf promises to make it a tournament to remember.

To add extra spice, McIlroy and Kaymer will both be at St Andrews immediately after the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles the previous week. Competing against them on the golf course, rather than leading them as he will do in the match against the United States, will be European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley.

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which takes place from October 2-5, celebrates links golf at its finest and is played over three of the world’s best known and respected links courses – Carnoustie, the Old Course at St Andrews and the highly regarded Kingsbarns Golf Links.

In addition to McIlroy and Kaymer, other Major Champions in the field include Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

Scotland will be well represented by two former winners – Stephen Gallacher, winner in 2004, and currently Scotland’s leading player, ranked 34th in the world, and the evergreen Colin Montgomerie, victor in 2005, who has won two senior Major Championships this year, the Senior PGA Championship and the US Senior Open.

Fresh from back-to-back victories on the European Seniors Tour, the Travis Perkins Masters and the Russian Open, Montgomerie said: “To win four times is great, especially the two in America, that was big to finally win two Majors. ”

Among the amateurs who have played regularly are film and TV stars Hugh Grant and Greg Kinnear, music legends Don Felder of the Eagles, Huey Lewis and Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres, British sporting knights Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Steve Redgrave, football legends Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit and former British tennis No.1 Tim Henman.

Entrance to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will be free at all three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A ticket price of £20 (concessionary £15) will be charged for the final day’s play over the Old Course on Sunday, October 5.

Entry for under 16s and students is free. Tickets are available through the ticket hotline on 0844 581 4922 or at the entrance gates.