ST ANDREWS, October 6, 2012 - Olympians Michael Phelps and Oscar Pistorius have enjoyed playing in their first Alfred Dunhill Links Championship so much that they both want to come again.
Phelps, the American swimmer who has won a record 18 Olympic gold medals, said: “It has been an awesome experience and when I was walking down the 18th fairway today with my partner Paul Casey, and looking at the famous St Andrews scene in front of me, I told him that I couldn’t believe I would ever be in that situation.
“Being able to play in this event as an amateur and to play alongside so many great golfers has been memorable, and there is so much history attached to the Old Course in particular that you can really feel it around you. I very much hope I get another invite, because it is something I would definitely love to experience again.”
Pistorius, the South African ‘Blade Runner’ who this year became the first Paralympian to take part in an Olympic Games, added: “Playing in this tournament has been phenomenal, and even better than I expected it to be. Everything is so well run, we have been taken care of everywhere we’ve gone, and the professionals have been so welcoming and down to earth. It’s been overwhelming.
“Being here at the Old Course today has been a gift, and I’ve been very lucky to have Paul McGinley as my partner over the last three days. He is so friendly and I got to meet his wife and daughter today. It has been great to get to know Paul, because he’s a great guy, and I just hope I can play in this tournament again.”
Phelps is still reliving the astonishing 53-yard putt that he sank at Kingsbarns, during his second round, and said: “I will never forget it. I just tried to get it to the top of the rise in the green and I couldn’t believe it when it then ran down the other side and all the way into the hole. It was a pretty cool feeling and a great moment. I just had to give a bit of a Tiger-esque fist pump!
“Starting out at Carnoustie on the first day was a little tough, but I was able to play some good golf – in addition to that putt – and it was a blast. I was watching Paul and the other pros a lot, and asking a few questions, so hopefully I have picked up a few things to improve my golf too.”
Pistorius also had a great moment right at the end of his tournament, sinking a birdie putt on the 18th green at St Andrews, in front of the R&A clubhouse, and said: “That was a wonderful way to end what has been such a great week. All the three courses we played have been memorable, and all of them are fantastic courses in different ways.”
Neither Olympic hero made the cut. Phelps and Casey finished on 15-under, while Pistorius and McGinley ended on five-under.
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