oct3 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship


The draw for the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which begins today, has thrown up some enthralling encounters.

Open champion Padraig Harrington, winner in 2002 and 2006, has once again been paired with Irish racehorse owner J.P.McManus, with whom he also won the Team Championship in those years, to bid for a remarkable treble.

In one of the most intriguing pairings, Ryder Cup legends Nick Faldo, the current captain, and Colin Montgomerie have been drawn together, with their respective amateur partners, singer Huey Lewis and US TV personality Ray Romano.

Popular British star Hugh Grant is teamed up with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn to play with Ireland's Paul McGinley and Hollywood actor Kyle MacLachlan.

The highlights of the draw include:

Carnoustie (All 10th tee)
9.11: Lee Westwood & Andrew Chandler / Rory McIlroy & Mike De Kock
9.22: Steve Elkington & Eric Gleacher / Martin Kaymer & Vice President Dan Quayle
9.33: Michael Campbell & Samuel L.Jackson / Jean-Francois Remesy & Allan Apone
9.44: Richard Sterne & Marcus Allen / Justin Rose & Steve Hand
9.55: Padraig Harrington & J.P.McManus / Ian Poulter & Dennis Hopper
10.28: Darren Clarke & Johann Rupert / Ernie Els & Neels Els
10.50: Colin Montgomerie & Ray Romano / Nick Faldo & Huey Lewis
11.01: Paul Casey & Franz Klammer / Ross Fisher & Bill Murray
11.12: Thomas Bjorn & Hugh Grant / Paul McGinley & Kyle MacLachlan
11.23: Trevor Immelman & Tico Torres / Luke Donald & Harry You

Kingsbarns (All 10th tee)
9.00: Sandy Lyle & Sir Bobby Charlton / Maarten Lafeber & Johan Cruyff
9.11: Richard Bland & Matthew Le Tissier / Robert-Jan Derksen & Ruud Gullit
9.22: James Hepworth & Aidan Quinn / Terry Price & Dougray Scott
9.44: Sam Torrance & Daniel Torrance / Lloyd Saltman & Sir Ian Botham
10.06: Nick Dougherty & Peter Dawson / Simon Dyson & Sir Steve Redgrave

St Andrews (All 1st tee)
10.28: Peter Fowler & Steve Waugh / Bradley Dredge & Morn頤u Plessis
11.23: Marcel Siem & Boris Becker / Jonathan Moore & Rurik Gobel

The tournament, conceived as a celebration of links golf, is played over three of the world's best known and respected links courses - The Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and the highly regarded Kingsbarns Golf Links - from Thursday, October 4 - Sunday, October 7.

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship has a unique format. With a prize fund of US$5 million, it incorporates two separate competitions - an individual professional tournament for the world's leading golfers and a team event in which they are paired with some of the most celebrated amateur golfers.

168 teams of one professional and one amateur contest the first three rounds, with one round being played at each of the three courses in rotation. Two competitions are played concurrently - individual professional and team. The team score will be the best net score of the two players at each hole. After 54 holes the field reduces to the leading 60 professionals and ties, plus the 20 leading teams, all of whom play the final round over the Old Course at St Andrews.

Play will be in four-ball groups and in order to accommodate as many players as practical, all four rounds will start from both the first and tenth tees at all courses.

Entrance to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will be FREE at all three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A ticket price of £15 (concessionary £10) will be charged for the final day's play over the Old Course on Sunday, October 7. Entry for under 16s and students is free. Tickets are available through the ticket hotline on 0870 010 9021 or at the entrance gates. There is free parking for spectators and a free shuttle bus service will be in operation between the courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.