A ‘super group’ of world-famous music stars, past and present, are among the amateur golf celebrities confirmed for this year’s 20th Anniversary Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Keane’s Tom Chaplin, Linkin Park’s David Farrell, music giant Ronan Keating and Brad Simpson from The Vamps will be sharing the fairways with cult US rock legends Huey Lewis and Bon Jovi’s Tico Torres.
Joining them, and swapping the film set for three of the greatest Links courses in the world, is eminent actor Greg Kinnear, star of As Good As It Gets, and TV star and entrepreneur Peter Jones from Dragon’s Den and American Inventor.
Ronan Keating spoke for them all when he said: “It’s the most exciting date in the calendar for amateur golfers. You can’t play alongside Ronaldo if you’re an amateur football player, but you can play next to Lee Westwood or Justin Rose, so it’s a wonderful thing to be part of and to see the best in their games.”
They will be joined by a group of illustrious sportsmen led by British sporting knights Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Ian Botham. Along with England cricket legend Sir Ian will be Australia’s Shane Warne and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis.
Football is represented by Luis Figo, one of the few men to play for Barcelona and Real Madrid, Dutch master Ruud Gullit and England international Jamie Redknapp, now an authoritative football analyst. Northern Ireland’s own sporting knight, Sir A.P.McCoy, the greatest ever steeplechase jockey, returns to St Andrews again. Also playing is American Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan.
Five-time Olympic gold-medallist rower Sir Steve Redgrave, who was coach of the China Olympic rowing team in Tokyo, has played in all Alfred Dunhill Links Championships since 2001. He said: “I’ve made the cut three times and quite honoured to have done it. I’ve been out in China and I haven’t been playing much golf so I’ve got a lot of brushing up to do. The pro’s are sometimes in awe of the amateurs, but not for their golfing normally. It’s such a fantastic feeling of being able to be next to the cream of the cream while they’re playing in their competition.”
With a prize fund of S$5 million, the Alfred Dunhill Links, which raises substantial funds for charity each year, incorporates two separate competitions – an individual professional tournament for the world’s leading golfers and the Team Championship, in which the pro’s are paired with amateur players, creating a unique atmosphere and camaraderie.
This year the Championship, which is played over the Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns Golf Links – takes place from September 30 – October 3.
Among the professionals who have confirmed they will play are Tommy Fleetwood, who, has finished runner-up twice and is the current holder of the Team Championship with Ogden Phipps, brilliant young Scot Robert MacIntyre and world No.9 Tony Finau, hoping to deliver the first American victory in the Championship.
Frenchman Victor Perez, who has held the Alfred Dunhill Links trophy for two years after the 2020 Championship did not take place because of the covid pandemic, will be back to defend. Among the other early entries are 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, another Team Championship winner, and Europeans Richard Bland, Sam Horsfield, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston, Pablo Larrazabal, Eddie Pepperell and Andy Sullivan. Among a strong South African contingent are Dean Burmester, Erik van Rooyen, Richard Sterne, Brandon Stone and Daniel van Tonder.
Admission is free for spectators over the first three days. Final day tickets for the Old Course St Andrews on Sunday, October 3, are available for £20 (Concessions £15).
Please note that because of covid regulations, attendance at the event is limited to 5,000 on each of the four days. Entry will only be permitted to ticket holders. Tickets will still be needed for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday, even though there is no charge.
Tickets can be booked at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/alfred-dunhill-links-championship-2021-tickets-168943012097 and will be available on a first come, first served basis.