Joe Root swaps his cricket bat for golf clubs
September 23, 2022
England’s Joe Root, the No.1 Test cricket batsman in the world, is to play for the second year running in next week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He is joined by other former England legends Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan.
Among the other sportsmen in the field are five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave, horse racing giant Sir Tony McCoy, known universally as ‘A.P.’ and former football stars Gianfranco Zola and Mark Noble.
Root, was named both the ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Year and the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World for 2021 and in June 2022 he became the second English batsman to score 10,000 Test runs. He has played in 121 Test matches and 157 One Day Internationals.
Known as ‘Root 66’, because of the number he wears on his England shirt, he said: “I really enjoyed last year and I’m delighted to be coming back. Playing on these great courses is unforgettable. The Old Course is such a unique sporting arena, with a special atmosphere. I can definitely compare it to Lord’s. I’m hoping to play well next week. It’s definitely easier to score 66 at cricket than golf, but I’ll be doing my best to match the number on my shirt”.
Sir Steve Redgrave, one of the greatest Olympians of all time, will be playing in his 21st Alfred Dunhill Links, having been one of the few ever-presents since the establishment of the event, while Mark Noble, former captain of London football club West Ham, will be making his debut, partnering US PGA Tour star and world No.15 Billy Horschel, who is a big fan of the Hammers.
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is a celebration of Links golf, played over the Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, from September 29 – October 2.
With a prize fund of US$5 million, the Championship incorporates two separate competitions - an individual professional tournament for the world's leading golfers and the Team Championship in which the professionals are paired with amateur golfers which creates a unique atmosphere.
The amateurs will be teaming up with the professionals in arguably the strongest field ever seen in the Alfred Dunhill Links, including world No.2 and triple FedEx winner Rory McIlroy, US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, who became the newest hero of British golf after his brilliant victory at Brookline in June, and 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry, winner of the BMW PGA event earlier this month.
Defending champion and former Masters champion Danny Willett faces a difficult challenge to retain his title. He will also be up against two-time winner Tyrrell Hatton, 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Team Championship winner Tommy Fleetwood, as well as Horschel, who is returning for a second year.
Two Open champions, Francesco Molinari and Louis Oosthuizen, will have the chance to return to the courses where they won the Claret Jug. Molinari is back at Carnoustie for the first time since his 2018 victory and Oosthuizen will revisit St Andrews, where he won in 2010.
Among other Major champions in the field are Padraig Harrington, also a two-time Alfred Dunhill Links winner, Charl Schwartzel and Geoff Ogilvy. Among the former winners returning to St Andrews is Branden Grace, who was the youngest champion, at 24, when he won in 2012.