Dustin Johnson makes his debut in Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

22/09/2011 13:38:18
Dustin Johnson   (Getty Images)
Dustin Johnson (Getty Images)

Top American golfer Dustin Johnson is to make his first appearance in next week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Champ ionship at St Andrews.

Johnson, 27, showed how much he enjoys playing links courses earlier this year when he finished runner-up in the Open Championship to Darren Clarke at Royal St.George’s.

One of the longest drivers on the US PGA Tour, Johnson is currently Number Six in the World Ranking and is fresh from victory last month in the Barclay Championship in New Jersey, his fifth Tour victory.

Johnson has had an excellent year in the Major championships. As well as finishing second in The Open, he was eighth in the US Open and fifth in the US PGA.

Also in the field are three of this year’s Major champions - Darren Clarke, who won an emotional Open Championship at the age of 42 at Royal St George’s in July, his fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, runaway winner of the US Open at Congressional a month earlier, and US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, the latest in a long line of South African Major winners to take part in the event.

In one of the strongest line-ups in the history of the Championship, also playing will be current World Number One and Number Two, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, and Major championship winners Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Todd Hamilton, Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle, 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.