Lawrie returns to scene of Open victory

4110020 SSHC CIT dunhill 'Paul Lawrie in the Dunhill Cup at the Old Course, St Andrews
4110020 SSHC CIT dunhill 'Paul Lawrie in the Dunhill Cup at the Old Course, St Andrews

SCOTLAND’S top golfer Paul Lawrie will lead the home challenge for this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Carnoustie.

He will also be joined by England’s world number four Lee Westwood, who are both former winners of the tournament.

But they will be up against a strong field which includes no fewer than 11 major champions.

Paul said: “I’m really enjoying my golf and things have been going very well for me recently.

“Winning the inaugural Dunhill Links in 2001 was a very important victory for me, and of course I know Carnoustie very well after my Open win in 1999, so I’m hoping I can have a good four days – it will be nice to play with my son Craig and relax a little after the stresses of the Ryder Cup.”

Current Open champion and four-time major winner Ernie Els leads a strong South African contingent, including 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and 2011 US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.

While Northern Ireland’s 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke will also be taking part.

Ireland’s three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington will also be back to see if he can win a unique third Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, having taken the title in 2002 and 2006, and Germany’s Martin Kaymer who won in 2010, the same year he won the USPGA Championship, will be looking for a repeat victory.

Other major winners in the field include Americans Rich Beem, the irrepressible John Daly and Shaun Micheel, plus New Zealand’s Michael Campbell.

Also in the field, bolstering the home challenge, will be Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie and Martin Laird and England’s Paul Casey, Simon Dyson, winner in 2009, and Ross Fisher.

Defending champion Michael Hoey from Northern Ireland will be returning to hoping to become the first golfer to win back-to-back Alfred Dunhill Links titles.

 The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship 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