Fans attending next week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews will be pleased to learn today that four-time major winner Ernie Els has confirmed his attendance.
The popular South African, who has won the Open Championship and the US Open twice, has confirmed he will be bidding for his first victory in the event, which takes place from September 26-29.
He leads a classic line-up of no fewer than 12 major winners: Rich Beem (US PGA 2002), Michael Campbell (US Open 2005), Darren Clarke (The Open 2011), Retief Goosen (US Open 2001 & 2004), Padraig Harrington (The Open 2007 & 2008, US PGA 2008), Martin Kaymer (US PGA 2010), Paul Lawrie (The Open 1999), Shaun Micheel (US PGA 2003), Louis Oosthuizen (The Open 2010), Charl Schwartzel (Masters 2011) and Vijay Singh (Masters 2000, US PGA 1998 & 2004).
Defending champion Branden Grace will also be returning to St Andrews, hoping to become the first golfer to win back-to-back Alfred Dunhill Links titles.
Louis Oosthuizen will be back at the scene of his greatest triumph. It was in 2010 that the South African produced one of golf’s great performances, storming to victory at the Open at a wind-lashed St Andrews by seven shots.
“St Andrews was always a special place for me even before my win there, but after that it meant everything – so much history; so many wonderful memories and knowing I would be a part of it for ever,” said Oosthuizen. “I like to have fun on the golf course and the format at the Dunhill certainly lends itself to that.”
Els leads a classic line-up of no fewer than 12 major winners.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington will be going for a remarkable third Alfred Dunhill links Championship, after winning both the individual professional event and the Team Championship with Irish businessman and racehorse owner JP McManus in 2002 and 2006.
“St Andrews is a very special place and I am delighted to have won there twice,” said Harrington. “When I won in 2006, I knew on the 18th that I was in a comfortable position. Walking up the fairway knowing that I was going to win the tournament is a memory that will live with me forever. It was really something to savour.”
The event is played over three of the world’s best links - the Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns Golf Links.
With a prize fund of US$5 million, the championship incorporates two separate competitions - an individual professional tournament and a team event in which the professionals are paired with celebrities from the world of entertainment and sport.
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, September 29. Entry for under 16s and students is free.