Captain and players aim to banish Ryder Cup heartache at the Alfred Dunhill

Some of Europe’s Ryder Cup team will be aiming to put their Whistling Straits disappointment behind them when they tee off at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 10:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 10:27 am
Film star Andy Garcia will arrive in Scotland to compete in the team competition at this week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Carnoustie is one of three host courses for the famous European Tour event which traditionally combines an individual tournament for professionals with a team competition.

Some of the most famous names in film, TV and sport are amongst those who partner a pro as an amateur and this year is no different.

But the Alfred Dunhill, also played over the Old Course in St Andrews and Kingsbarns in north east Fife, remains one of the most lucrative tournaments on the European Tour, something reflected each year in its high quality entry list.

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Sadly American Tony Finau, part of last week’s winning American Ryder Cup team, has had to pull out.

Still teeing it up in Angus this week, though, are European team captain Padraig Harrington along with his players Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Shane Lowry.

Vice-captains Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer.

Organisers have this week also announced that Javier Ballesteros, son of the great Seve Ballesteros will also compete.

Javier will be playing St Andrews for the first time in a professional event ten years since his father died and this is sure to be an emotional few days for him.

Seve, who famously won the Open Championship at St Andrews in 1984, described it as “the happiest moment of my whole sporting life.”

Talking on the actual anniversary of his father’s death in May, Javier told BBC Sport: “He won five majors, helped Europe to five Ryder Cups and has a record 50 victories on the European Tour, but I can tell you he was a much better dad than he was a golfer, so he was pretty good.

“I wish I could have seen his victories live.

"I wish I could have been at St Andrews when he won The Open in 1984 or at Royal Lytham in 1988.

"The best I saw was when I caddied for him at the 2006 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool at Hoylake.

"That was another level, to see the love of the fans, it was just fantastic.”

Of course, crowds gather at the Alfred Dunhill not just to watch their favourite golfers compete, but also the amateurs.

More big names were announced in the run-up to it teeing off with Hollywood super star Andy Garcia, former boxing world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and English cricket captain Joe Root among the final amateurs to confirm they are taking part in what will be the 20th anniversary of the competition.

Also playing in the prestigious event are AC Milan and Chelsea football star Andriy Shevchenko, seven-time world snooker champion Stephen Hendry and former England cricketers Michael Vaughan and Darren Gough.

Admission is free for spectators over the first three days.

Final day tickets for the Old Course St Andrews on Sunday, October 3, are available for £20 and £15 for concessions.

Because of Covid-19 regulations, spectator capacity on each course will be capped at 4000. Further ticket information is available at www.alfreddunhilllinks.com