By Jasmine Wheelhouse
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was played in St Andrews last weekend with St Andrews students and locals turning out to see Martin Kaymer coming out top. But just as many also came to see the many celebrities participating in the event.
The pro-am championship is played over three courses; Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and St Andrews with 168 professionals and 168 amateurs taking part. It’s played in teams of two, comprising of one professional and one amateur. After each course is played in the first three days, play is reduced to the Top-60 Professionals and the leading 20 teams, with the final played on Sunday in St Andrews. The final results saw England’s Danny Willett, John Parry and Gary Boyd finishing in second, third and fourth place, with Scotland’s Martin Laird in fifth.
Though excellent weather on Thursday, breezy and difficult conditions ensued over the following few days. Despite this, Kaymer sunk seven birdies and just one bogey, managing to hit a birdie from the tarmac of Granny Clarks Wynd, the road passing through the fairway of the 1st and 18th Hole of The Old Course.
Local guest houses and B&B’s have been full in the days leading up to the event, with mass numbers of tourists flocking to the town. “It brings a significant boost to the local economy which is especially welcome in these challenging financial times,” said Tony Martin, Fife Council environment, enterprise and development chairman.
Many of the professionals and celebrities spoke of their excitement to be playing the championship at the Old Course, considered to be the home of golf: “It was good to see the crowds out and it was just a wonderful day. To walk around St Andrews is quite special” commented Radio 2 DJ, Chris Evans.
The Championship again attracted famous amateurs, including Samuel L. Jackson, Andy Garcia, Tim Henman, and the familiar face of Hugh Grant.