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Rock on! Delighted McFadden on 8-Under

Former Westlife singer Brian McFadden watched TV coverage of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship jealously in previous years as celebrity friends plotted their way around.

But he was ecstatic when the invite arrived this year, allowing him to fulfil an ambition to play at the Home of Golf.

He said: “I’ve got a few friends like Ronan Keating and Peter Jones who play here regularly. I’ve watched them on TV and thought ‘how come I’m not there!’ I’ve been very jealous of them, but this year my invite came through.

“I love golf. This is my first year and it’s got to be one of the best weeks of my life. I’ve been playing golf since I was a kid but only properly in the last four or five years. I try and play three times a week, sometimes four. I’d like to think I’m Tiger Woods but realistically I’m more of a bear in the woods.”

McFadden and pro partner Robert Rock finished eight-under par in the team competition after their first round at the Old Course. The Irishman’s round came alive on the Road Hole.

“On 17, suddenly the cameras arrived and I knew people were watching,” he said. “I hit a smoke of a drive and a 9 iron to eight feet. I missed the putt but those were my two best shots of the day.

“We dovetailed beautifully as a team. This format works for me because I am either making birdies or scratching holes. It’s good to know that if I have a triple bogey I’ve got a partner who will save me.”