Alfred Dunhill Links Championship preview

Top golfers and names from sport and entertainment will tee it up

Oliver Wilson
Oliver Wilson holds aloft the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship trophy. Credit: Getty Images

Top golfers and famous names from the sports and entertainment industries will tee it up on three fine Scottish links layouts

Lowdown: Two competitions run concurrently at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The main one is a 72-hole strokeplay tournament form the professionals. But there is also pro-am competition where the lower score between the professional and his amateur partner is taken at each hole.

The first three rounds are played over St Andrews Old Course, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie and those who make the cut play a final round over the Old Course.

Admission is free for all spectators over the first three days with final day tickets on Sunday, October 4 available to purchase at the entrance gates for £20 (Seniors £15).

Last year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship gave Oliver Wilson , nine times a runner up, his first tour victory in his 228th European Tour event. No-one has successfully defended the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title in the 15 years of the event.

Actors Matthew Goode and Hugh Grant join musicians Ronan Keating, Huey Lewis , Don Felder, Sam McTrusty, and broadcaster DJ Spooney.

Former footballlers Alessandro del Piero, Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Ballack, Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit will be teeing it up alongside former cricketers Michael Vaughan, Mark Boucher, Allan Lamb , Jacques Kallis, Shane Warne, Kevin Pietersen and Sir Ian Botham.

Sir Steve Redgrave, AP McCoy, Franz Klammer and Tim Henman are others who are swapping sports for the week.

Venue: Old Course St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie, Scotland Date: October 1-4 Course stats: Old Course par 72, 7,279 yards; Kingsbarns par 72, 7,150 yards; Carnoustie par 72, 7,412 yards Purse: US$ 5,000,000 Winner: US$ 800,000 Defending Champion: Oliver Wilson (-17)

TV Coverage: Thursday 1 – Sky Sports 4 from 1pm Friday 2 – Sky Sports 4 from 1pm Saturday 3 – Sky Sports 4 from 1pm Sunday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 12.30pm

Player watch: Paul Dunne and Ashley Chesters This is the first professional tournament for the two amateur stars of this year’s Open at St Andrews. Irishman Dunne had led at the 54-hole mark but it was Englishman Chesters who won the Silver Medal.

Shane Lowry The winner of this year’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will look to improve on a decent record in this tournament having come third in 2013 and sixth last year.

Branden Grace – The South African came in the USPGA and fourth in the US Open and has already won twice this season on Tour. He won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2012

Padraig Harrington – The two-time winner of this event has played in all 14 previous Alfred Dunhill Links Championships. He is the only multiple winner, back in 2002 and 2007, and has finished inside the top eight half a dozen times.

Key hole: 17th Old Course. The oh so long par 4 Road Hole has the chance to wreck a card with victory in sight.

Roderick Easdale

Contributing Writer Roderick is the author of the critically acclaimed comic golf novel, Summer At Tangents. Golf courses and travel are Roderick’s particular interests. He writes travel articles and general features for the magazine, travel supplement and website. He also compiles the magazine's crossword. He is a member of Trevose Golf & Country Club and has played golf in around two dozen countries. Cricket is his other main sporting love. He is also the author of five non-fiction books, four of which are still in print: The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse; The Don: Beyond Boundaries; Wally Hammond: Gentleman & Player and England’s Greatest Post-War All Rounder.