Tommy Fleetwood, fresh from representing Great Britain in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, has confirmed he is to play in the 20th Anniversary Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews
Fleetwood, who has finished runner-up twice in the Alfred Dunhill Links, and is the current holder of the Team Championship with Ogden Phipps, is among the early entries for the prestigious European Tour event staged at three of the greatest Links courses in the world, the Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, from September 30 to October 3.
Local hero Robert MacIntyre, the leading Scot in the world rankings, who has made a stunning breakthrough into the upper levels of golf in the last two years, is also in the field along with world No 22 Tony Finau, hoping to deliver the first American victory in the Championship.
MacIntyre finished 11th in the Race to Dubai in 2019, after a season that included three runner-up finishes and a tie for sixth place in his Major Championship debut at The Open. The following season he won the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, and in 2021 finished tied 12th in The Masters and eighth in The Open.
He said: “St Andrews is a very special place. I was brought up playing on Links golf courses, so the event suits me. We get the chance to play on three fantastic courses. It’s a fun week and I have my entire family and friends from Oban with me, which is something that doesn’t happen too much on Tour. I am hoping that I can perform well in front of a home crowd this year.”
Frenchman Victor Perez, who has held the Alfred Dunhill Links trophy for two years after the 2020 Championship did not take place because of the covid pandemic, will be back to defend. Perez, whose home is now in Dundee, said: “Winning the Dunhill was massive for me as a player. The field was the strongest in tournament history and it proved to me that I could win against the best players in the world. I’ve had many great results since then.”
2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, who was also winner with caddie Jonathan Smart of the Alfred Dunhill Links Team Championship in the same year, has recovered from an appendicitis operation in June and will be at St Andrews.
Among the other early entries are European players Richard Bland, Thomas Detry, Nacho Elvira, Sam Horsfield, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston, Pablo Larrazabal, Eddie Pepperell and Andy Sullivan, and South Africans Dean Burmester, Erik van Rooyen, Richard Sterne, Brandon Stone and Daniel van Tonder.
Alfred Dunhill has supported golf at St Andrews for over 35 years, through the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and previously the Alfred Dunhill Cup. Millions have been raised for charity in that time through the work of the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation.
The Championship 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.
The Alfred Dunhill Links has been working closely with the Scottish Government and the European Tour to ensure that a Championship can be staged that can capture the excitement and the unique camaraderie of the event, while mitigating against any remaining problems caused by the pandemic.
In line with other golf and sports events, the Alfred Dunhill Links has been constantly reviewing how the 2021 Championship can best take place, while ensuring the health and comfort of golfers, spectators and the many people involved in putting on the event. More details of these arrangements will be confirmed in the next few weeks.