Scotland’s East Coast will play host to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship that starts today.
The tournament takes place over three different courses – St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie – with the final round being played over the Old Course at St. Andrews.
The Dunhill Links is a unique format in that professional golfers team together with celebrity amateurs and guests for the first three rounds of the competition. The field is then slashed for the final round, with only the Top-60 and tied professionals and the Top-20 professional and amateur teams progressing.
And it is this special format that has prompted World No.6 Martin Kaymer to dub it ‘probably the best European tournament of the year’.
The German Ryder Cup star said ahead of today’s tournament: “It is the home of golf, it is where I feel the most comfortable. We play on three wonderful courses so it’s probably the best week of the year on the European Tour.
“Carnoustie is definitely the toughest. You can score well at Kingsbarns and St. Andrews if the weather is okay but at Carnoustie if you shoot level-par, that’s still a good score.”
Amongst this years sports stars competing are Johann Cruyff, who will be paired with fellow Dutchman Maarten Lafaber, Sir Bobby Charlton, playing with Welshman Rhys Davis and Sir Ian Botham, who will tee off Carnoustie with colourful American John Daly.
Also set to feature this year are big names from the world of film: Michael Douglas, Hugh Grant and Andy Garcia.
And in other news…
Scotland face a momentous task this Saturday when they set out to upset England and hand them their first defeat of the Rugby World Cup. After succumbing to nerves in the dying seconds of their match against Argentina, Scotland must now win by 8 points or more in order to progress and potentially kick England out entirely. England’s Delon Armitage says the team are ready to withstand the challenge of a dangerous Scottish side that needs to win big, whilst Scotland’s Nick De Luca stirred up a little friendly controversy saying that it would be an ‘added bonus’ for Scotland to kick England out of the competition due to the historic rivalry. Dan Parks will be looking to replicate his form from last years win over World Champions South Africa and leave behind the stigma of his missed drop goal.
In the other match in Group B Georgia beat Romania, Romania’s fourth loss in four matches, this morning 25-9. So if Georgia can ride that win and put in a display against Argentina it’s possible for Scotland to qualify with a losing bonus point, a back door entry to the next round perhaps, but one the Scottish side would be glad for if it means they aren’t on a plane home next week.