Picture: Ian McIlgorm Photography for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Rory McIlroy will be back at St Andrews next month, chasing his first win in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, after finishing runner-up three times.
The enormously popular Northern Ireland golfer, celebrating after his great victory in the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup, has confirmed he will be playing in this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, staged over the Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.
Rory said: “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s an event I always enjoy. I love links golf and the three courses we play are some of the best and most famous in the world. With a bit of luck, maybe I can finally win it this year. I’ve come very close a few times and it would mean a lot to me.”
Four-time Major Champion Rory has had a close relationship with the Alfred Dunhill Links over the years. In 2007, at 18, he became the youngest player to earn a European Tour card from tournament-play when he finished third.
Then he finished second in 2009, 2011 and 2014, the year in which, in the Team Championship, he played alongside his father Gerry, who was celebrating his 55th birthday.
Rory added: “It was great fun playing with my Dad. He has been such a rock for me over the years. We made it through to the final day and had such a good time coming down the stretch together on the Old Course. It was a very special moment.”
McIlroy is the latest to confirm he will play in the Championship, a celebration of links golf at its finest.
Tommy Fleetwood, who has finished runner-up twice in the Alfred Dunhill Links and was second in the Open Championship at Royal Portrush in July, has also announced he will be back.
They are joined by three-time Major Champion and two-time Alfred Dunhill Links winner, European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington, four-time Major Champion Ernie Els, former US Open champion Graeme McDowell, double Alfred Dunhill Links Champion Tyrrell Hatton and ever popular Lee Westwood, winner in 2003, who showed what a rich vein of form he is in when he finished fourth in The Open.
A powerful group of English golfers, including Ross Fisher, who finished second in 2016 and 2017, when he created the current Old Course record of 61, Eddie Pepperell, Matt Wallace, who finished third in this year’s US PGA Championship, and the ever popular Luke Donald are in the field, along with defending champion Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark.
With a prize fund of US$5 million, the Alfred Dunhill Links 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.
Among the amateurs already confirmed are sporting greats like Sir Steve Redgrave, Kevin Pietersen, Shane Warne, Luis Figo, Ruud Gullit, Jamie Redknapp, Andriy Shevchenko and Sir Anthony (AP) McCoy, plus TV and showbiz stars Ronan Keating and Piers Morgan.
This is the 35th year that Alfred Dunhill has supported golf at St Andrews, through the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and previously the Alfred Dunhill Cup. With the creation of the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation in 2011, millions have been raised for charity.
Admission is free for all spectators over the first three days with final day tickets on Sunday, September 29 available to purchase at the entrance gates for £20 (Concessions £15), or in advance here.