Charl faces serious links field

Charl Schwartzel finds himself in a field containing three current major champions, and the world number one and two, in the $5-million Alfred Dunhill Links beginning 29 September.

The Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarn will play host as Schwartzel, the latest in a long line of South African major winners to compete, joins Irish duo Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke in chasing a first victory at the event.

In one of the strongest line-ups in the history of the Championship, also playing will be current world No 1 and No 2, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, and major championship winners Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Trevor Immelman, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen.

Defending champion Martin Kaymer, who last year also won the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and headed the European Tour money list, will be bidding to become the first golfer to win back-to-back Alfred Dunhill Links titles.

Kaymer, 26, currently No 6 in the world rankings, said: “It was very emotional to win last year at St Andrews and I am already looking forward to returning and playing in front of the Scottish galleries again as defending champion. These are very special courses to play golf on and walking up the last hole on the Old Course is an unforgettable experience. I have loved playing in the Dunhill and it would be great if I could make it a double by winning again.”

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which celebrates links golf at its finest, 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. The Championship this year takes place from September 29 to October 2.

With a prize fund of US$5 million, the championship incorporates two separate competitions – an individual professional tournament for the world’s leading golfers and a team event in which the professionals are paired with some of the most celebrated amateur golfers which creates a unique atmosphere.

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