Els leads all-star Dunhill cast

Picture by JANE BARLOW. 16th July 2013.South Africa's Ernie Els ahead of the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield in Gullane, East Lothian.

Picture by JANE BARLOW. 16th July 2013.South Africa's Ernie Els ahead of the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield in Gullane, East Lothian.

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Top golf returns to town on Thursday when the Dunhill Links Championship takes place over the Carnoustie Championship Course.

An annual celebration of the links game, the tourney is also played over St Andrews Old Course and Kingsbarns.

Picture by JANE BARLOW. 15th July 2012. Aberdeen Asset Management 2012 Scottish Open, Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness. Pictured during the final round is Louis Oosthuizen on the 9th tee.

Picture by JANE BARLOW. 15th July 2012. Aberdeen Asset Management 2012 Scottish Open, Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness. Pictured during the final round is Louis Oosthuizen on the 9th tee.

Four-time Major Championship winner Ernie Els leads a world-class field in the tournament.

The popular South African, who has won The Open Championship and the US Open twice, has confirmed he will be bidding for his first victory in the event.

He leads a classic line-up of no fewer than 12 Major Championship winners: Rich Beem, Michael Campbell, Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Shaun Micheel, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh.

Defending champion Branden Grace will also be returning, hoping to become the first golfer to win back-to-back Alfred Dunhill Links titles.

Picture by JANE BARLOW. 4th October 2012. Round 1 of the 2012 Alfred Dunhill Links Championships at Carnoustie. Pictured is Padraig Harrington on the 17th tee.

Picture by JANE BARLOW. 4th October 2012. Round 1 of the 2012 Alfred Dunhill Links Championships at Carnoustie. Pictured is Padraig Harrington on the 17th tee.

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington will be going for a remarkable third Alfred Dunhill links championship, after winning both the individual professional event and the team championship with Irish businessman J.P. McManus in 2002 and 2006.

Celebrities confirmed for next week’s event include music stars Don Felder and Huey Lewis as well as Riverdance star Michael Flatley.

They will be joined by actors Andy Garcia, Hugh Grant, Kyle MacLachlan, James Nesbitt and Luke Wilson.

Entrance to the championships will be free at all three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are £20 (concessionary £15) for the final day at St Andrews Old Course on Sunday.