ST ANDREWS, September 22, 2019 – Sir Ian Botham and Michael Vaughan are the latest big sporting names to confirm that they will play in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The England Ashes legends who have been commentating on and analysing this summer’s Ashes series in the media, will this week be swapping cricket for golf and focusing on their own games.
Both are remembered for their own personal Ashes triumphs. The 1981 Ashes series is now famously recalled as ‘Botham’s Ashes’ after his outstanding performances, particularly at Headingley
Vaughan became a national hero in the Ashes series victory over Australia in 2005. As captain he masterminded a remarkable revival in the fortunes of the England team, winning six Test series in succession, beating the West Indies (twice), New Zealand, South Africa, Bangladesh and Australia. In total he captained England in 51 Test matches, winning 26, the most by any England captain.
Botham and Vaughan join a high class team of cricketers who will be teeing off in the amateur field at the Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns on Thursday. Also playing are Kevin Pietersen, Shane Warne, Jacques Kallis, AB De Villiers, Mark Boucher, Mark Nicholas and Allan Lamb.
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 amateurs will be joining the strongest ever professional field in the history of the Alfred Dunhill Links, led by three of the world’s top ten – Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Jon Rahm – and supported by Open champion Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood, runner-up at Portrush, and US Ryder Cup player Tony Finau, current World No 12.
Other Major Champions in the line-up are Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Danny Willett and Trevor Immelman. Also in the field are two-time winner Tyrrell Hatton, Lee Westwood, winner in 2003, who showed what a rich vein of form he is in when he finished fourth in The Open at Portrush, former winner Branden Grace and ever popular Luke Donald. Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard will be back to defend his title.
This is the 35th year that Alfred Dunhill has supported golf at St Andrews, 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.